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r indows*7 

The Yes Men 

Bhopal, a city of two beautiful lakes 
and a remarkable cultural legacy, 
is today remembered as the site of 
the world's worst industrial dis- 
aster. On the night of December 2, 1984, a 
deadly MIC (methyl isocyanate) gas leak from 
Union Carbide's factory killed around 8,000 
people in the first seventy-two hours alone. 
This number has gone up to 25,000 in the 
last twenty-six years. 

Today, an entire generation lives with the 
effects of the gas exposure, and their chil- 
dren are being born with severe physical and 
mental disabilities. More than 37,000 people 
are forced to live with contaminated ground 
water. The disaster continues and so does 
the struggle by the victims of Dow-Carbide 
poisons. Till date, no one has been prosecuted 
- Warren Anderson remains an absconder, 
and Dow Chemicals refuses to accept any 
liability for the Bhopal disaster. Even though 
Dow Chemical has accepted Union Carbide 
liabilities in Texas, for workers who were 
affected by Asbestos (produced by Union Car- 
bide), when it comes to Bhopal, they seem to 
display double standards. 

However, the people of Bhopal are not 
alone in their struggle; the injustice they 
have suffered and the moral strength of their 
demands have won them support across the 
world. In this context the role played by The 
Yes Men has been truly remarkable. The Yes 
Men have initiated a series of actions high- 
lighting the Bhopal struggle. 

On the 20th anniversary of the disaster, 
when Dow had newly acquired Union Car- 
bide, to become the largest and richest 
chemical corporation in the world, The Yes 
Men appeared on the BBC, posing as Dow 
executives, and accepting all responsibili- 
ties related to the disaster. Nine years later, 
when Dow was organizing a global 'Blue 
planet Run', promoting safe water, even as it 
continued to ignore the plight of more than 
25,000 people in Bhopal who were forced to 
live with the contaminated groundwater, The 
Yes Men distributed Beau' pal water bottles. 
Again, a year later when Dow sponsored the 
Live Earth Run, The Yes Men appeared in 
New York criticizing the protesters for their 

optimism - that one day justice will be done. 
Each time, Dow had to make a public state- 
ment that they would never own-up to the 
Bhopal liabilities. 

With each of their actions The Yes Men 
have not only embarrassed Dow Chemical, 
but also exposed the truth and unmasked its 
'human element'. 

Their kind of activism has inspired actions 
across the world - both online as well as 
offline. These actions though publicised, as 
'spoofs', in effect expose the many contradic- 
tions between the powerless and powerful, 
and the extent to which their greed for money 
and power can maim and victimise the world 
in reality. In a similar vein comes the release 
of their much-acclaimed film - The Yes Men 
Fix The World. 

This film chronicles their consistent efforts 
towards strengthening the people's struggle 
against corporate greed, and accepting 
accountability. The film raises critical ques- 
tions, calls on the audience to take action, and 
sends a warning to the mighty and powerful 
against any misgivings that they might have 
with regards to the public, the strength of 
their struggle and the support they inspire 

For more information please visit www. and, or 
email CJ 

"With each of 
their actions 
The Yes Men 
have not only 
Dow Chemical, 
but also 
exposed the 
truth and 
its 'human 

The Yes Men: Andy BichLbaum and Mike Bonanno 

Digit I December 2010 I 


The RSS Feed 

Fix the world 

Those of you who have read this maga- 
zine over the years probably found 
something strange with page 1 this 
month. Traditionally, the first page of 
this magazine has been reserved for the editor's 
column, and sometimes carries a message from 
the publisher. We've never given anyone outside 
of this company that first page. It's not a rule that's 
written anywhere, or something that the company 
has taken a conscious decision about; it's just 
always seemed morally correct. I know a lot of 
other magazines do it, and get premium rates for 
the page too, but we don't. 

Perhaps like every editor before me, I also 
promised myself to not let page 1 be used as a 
gimmick - to try something new, to make a state- 
ment, or to get premium ad rates. I also promised 
myself that the page would always deal with tech- 
nology. I'm going back on those promises, and 
I'm not sorry. 

I'm a huge legal torrent buff, and a month ago, I 
came across the movie, The Yes Men fix the World. 
Thanks to an unlimited internet connection, I had 
no qualms when clicking Download. 

I'll be honest, I've never liked the gimmicks 
and stunts people pull to get attention (and, yes, 
I abhor reality TV). Had someone told me this 
movie was about a couple of scamsters who pulled 
elaborate stunts to embarrass big corporations, 
I probably would have ignored it. I'm thankful 
no one did, because I thoroughly enjoyed every 
minute, and learnt that gimmicks and stunts are 
sometimes very necessary - for the right reasons. 

My very first thought was to share this movie 
with you, but that just wasn't enough. Those of 
you who bought this magazine from the news 
stand probably saw the movie advertised on the 
packaging. And for those of you who didn't, or 
those who subscribe, my little "stunt" was to bring 
it to your notice. 

I don't want you to watch the movie just 
because it shows two guys getting a little payback 
for the Bhopal gas tragedy that our country faced 
- if you consider causing stock prices of The Dow 
Chemical Company (who bought Union Carbide) 
to fall a couple of billion dollars "little payback", 
that is. Nor do I want you to watch the movie 
because it's very funny and entertaining... which 
it is. The most important message I found in this 
movie was that ordinary people like you and I 
can actually "do something" about the injustices 

in the world. For all those of you who think, "I'm 
just one person, what can I accomplish?", this 
movie is your answer. 

The Yes Men try and make money by selling 
DVDs of their movies, and ask for donations on 
their web site - it's obvious they need money for 
their projects to continue. Yet, when I told them I 
wanted to share their movie with you, but had no 
budgets to buy their movie, all they asked for in 
return was to carry a note on behalf of the victims 
of Bhopal. Genuine nice guys! 

I urge you to follow their exploits, and support 
them in any way that you can. I'll be donating 
$19.84 to their Yes Labs project at http://theyesmen. 
org, because that's a donation amount they came 
up with to commemorate the Bhopal tragedy. 
I hope the more well-to-do amongst you will 
watch the movie and consider doing the same, 
to empower The Yes Men to continue playing 
havoc with corporations that thoroughly deserve 
it; and even if you can't donate, you can follow 
their example and start caring a little more. 

You can choose to care by indulging in 
activism, like the Yes Men, or just choose to care 
enough to find out more about the brands you buy 
products from. Just as the Yes Men use technology 
to aid them with their endeavours, you too can 
make technology work for you. 

Use our Consumer Protection initiative when 
a company tries to stiff you out of your rights, and 
recommend that as a solution to friends who face 
problems with service. Use our Forum (thinkdigit. 
com/forum) to let other consumers like yourself 
know about your experiences with a company - 
good or bad. Do a little research online about a 
company before you buy products; look for how 
much investment it makes in green initiatives, etc. 
Recycle your old hardware, and as far as possible 
try and donate it to people or institutions that 
need it more than you do... Just choose not to be 
a silent spectator, and you will be doing enough. 

Also, remember to send feedback about the 
movie, to us and to the Yes Men, and also send in 
your suggestions about how we can collectively 
work to keep big corporations from being com- 
placent about their moral obligations. EH 

ffig^A-^-^^ JC-A^^y 

"...all they 
asked for in 
return was to 
carry a note 
on behalf of 
the victims 
of Bhopal. 
Genuine nice 

Robert Sovereign-Smith 

Executive Editor 
editor @ thinkdigit. com 


Digit I December 2010 I 





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December 2010 • Volume 10 • Issue 12 




Managing Director 
Dr Pramath Raj Sinha 

Printer and Publisher 
Kanak Ghosh 

Publishing Director 
Asheesh Gupta 


Executive Editor Robert Sovereign-Smith 

Contributing Editor Ahmed Shaikh 

Head - Copy Desk Nash David 

Writers Siddharth Parwatay, Kshitij Sobti, 

Abhinav Lai 

Trainee Sambhav Daffu 

Contributing writer Anoop Verma 

Test Centre 

Manager (Mumbai) Rossi Fernandes 

Manager (Delhi) Michael Browne 

Reviewers Nimish Sawant, Vinod Yalburgi 

Trainees Rudresh Jariwala, S Doumuansiam Simte 

Co-ordinator Shweta Mali 


Sr Creative Director Jayan Narayanan 

Art Director Binesh Sreedharan 

Associate Art Director Anil VK 

Lead Designer Vijay Padaya 

Manager Design Chander Shekhar 

Sr Visualisers PC Anoop, Santosh Kushwaha 

Sr Designers Prasanth TR, Anil T, Suresh 

Kumar, Joffy Jose, NV Baiju, Anoop Verma, 

Chander Dange 

Designer Sristi Maurya 

Chief Photographer Subhojit Paul 

Sr Photographer Jiten Gandhi 

Production and Logistics 

Sr GM - Operations Shivshankar Hiremath 

Manager Operations Rakesh Upadhyay 

Asst Production Manager Vilas Mhatre 

Asst Mgr Vijay Menon 

Mgmt Trainee Omkar Tarde 

Executives M P Singh, Mohd. Nadeem Ansari 


Product Mgr Abhishek Poddar 

Mgr - Product Marketing Chandan Singh 

Co-ordinator / Scheduling Kishan Singh 

Circulation Sales 

National Co-ordinator Samir Mehta 

Regional Mgrs Jayanta Bhattacharyya, 

Norbert Joseph 

Executive Vijay Mhatre 

Reader Services 

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Executives Poornima, Itishree, Pinky, Sudhir, 


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Micro Max 21 

Microsoft IFC 

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ZEBRONICS Diamond Series DJ 

Zebronics ZEB Station 

ZOTAC GeForce GTX580 



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News and happenings from around 
the web 

Mapping a city's smell 

The Chemical Cartography Project aims to create a 
virtual map of a US city to help recognise a chemical 
terrorist attack 

M I am an ENT surgeon and an avid 
reader of Digit. Back in my student days 
when cash used to run low, I used to 
scour old book shops in search of old 
Digit issues. Often torn and discoloured, 
I used to still enjoy Digit, my favourite 
magazine. I ended up hoarding so many 
copies, I have a big heap of old computer 
magazines. Now I regularly buy Digit. 
The Linux distros provided in DVD are 
super cool. I love all the features. Keep up 
the good work. 

Dr Santhosh Kumar R 

H We are glad that you've tuned yourself to 
technology despite coming from a medical 
background. You will be pleased to know 
that a lot of medical practitioners do read 
Digit, and we're delighted to hear from a 
surgeon after a long time. Continue reading 
your favourite magazine and we'll continue 
to fuel your tech hunger. 


Kl I'm from Goa and have been a regular 
reader of your magazine. It has helped 
me solve several technical issues with 
my system. It has educated me on a lot of 
topics related to technology and gadgets. I 
have become a tech guru within my friend 
circle and locality, all thanks to Digit. 
Keep up the good work. The DVDs too 
carry awesome software that have come 
in really handy for me. I would sincerely 
request to consider changing the DVD 
interface. The old one really bugs me. 
I am also requesting you to please add 
the trial of Adobe Master Collection in 
the December DVD. I really need it and 
can't download because of the huge size. 
I would be really grateful if you fulfill my 

We're giving away 

of gifts 

to our readers. 

Head to page 92 to reclaim your three 
guaranteed gifts 

November 2010 

protect vour **u lA^*H tfft* 





Dwd Rising? R 2010 

long desired wish. 

Lezwon Castellino 

□ Good to know that you Like the magazine 
and DVD contents. We changed the whole 
Look and feel of the DVDs in terms of user 
interface since the December issue. You 
should check out the new interface and 
give us your feedback on whether you Like 
this better or not. We have given the Adobe 
Master Collection in the DVDs earlier, but 
will provide it again in the coming months. 
Thanks for your suggestions. Happy 


M I've been reading Digit since a year and 
there is one thing which I must say "You 
guys rock". I've even dumped the thought 
of using pirated Windows and switched to 
FOSS. I would like to tell you that I really 
love reading World View section which 
you've started recently. I'm a student in a 
city where electricity goes off very often, 
and the thought of not being able to read 
the Fast Track has really moved me to 
write my first mail to you in this year. 
Since I'm a student I don't actually get a 
lot of time to enjoy with my computer and 
ultimately read the hard copy. I read the 
FTs in the eight hours I get to sleep. So I 
am partial towards the Fast Track print 
edition and do not want a PDF for it. 

Mukul Kumar 

H We are proud of you for dumping 
pirated software and using open source 
instead. It is gestures like these that 
are really humbling. Also, it feels great 
to know that our newest section - 
World View - has impressed you. The 
articles that we feature there are hand 
picked by the entire Digit team. Don't 
worry about the Fast Track. We are not 
switching to ebook formats anytime 
soon, as we have received lot of let- 
ters expressing similar concerns. Keep 
reading Digit and spreading the word of 


M I am a tech enthusiast who loves to 
spend time reading Digit and keeping 
myself updated about the latest tech 
news and gadgets. All the articles are 
very interesting and have quite a lot of 
new things for me to learn about. 
This month, I thoroughly enjoyed 
reading the Augmented Reality and the 
Great Diwali Deal Hunt articles. 
The Diwali Deal Hunt article has surely 
made me more conscious about the "dis- 
count" tags and exaggerrated attractions. 
The world view section was a truly 
amazing read and I would really hope 
you keep enlightening the readers with 
cool gadgets from all over the world 
keeping the users enthralled. 


Digit I December 2010 I 



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$1.3 billion penalty 

In what is touted as the Largest amount ever awarded 
for software piracy, SAP had to pay Oracle $1.3 billion for 
illegally using Oracle software 

Floating phone 

iBall launched the world's first floating 
phone - The Floater - along with six other 
models this month 

□ Yes, we felt that we needed to cut 
through all the marketing jargon to give 
our readers the true picture of discounts 
during this season. Thank you for your 
positive feedback for the World View 
section. It is our constant endeavour to 
provide our readers with cutting edge 
contemporary content. World View is a 
step in that direction. Rest assured of 
getting your quota of technology from our 
side every month 


M Hi Digit! I am 14 years old and an avid 
reader of this prestigious tech magazine. 
Here's my story (hope you read it): 
My journey with Digit started about 
a year ago when I was 13. 1 saw a 
DVD at my cousin's place with a 
logo "Digit Mindware". I popped 
in the DVD and I was amazed with 
so many software and I asked my 
cousin, "Where did you find this?" 
He said that it comes with Digit Maga- 
zine every month. As soon as I came to 
my hometown I made my dad go out and 
buy a copy. I bought it only for softwares 
but it became like my brother. When I 
got my hands on it, I explored the DVD 
and installed almost everything. Then 
I read the magazine - wasn't able to 
understand some articles - but I read 
them over and over and kept getting 
amazed. I'm now hooked on and Digit 
made me a geek from a nOOb. Now, 
I am a blogger, techie, deviant, and 
most important Digitian. Now I have 
my website up (http://www.geekcorner. and all my friends ask me for 
gadget buys especially rig suggestions. 
All this is due to my brother- Digit, 
which digitized my life and me! 

Gurpreet Verma 

El I was once a reader myself, who also 
bought the magazine the first time for the 
CD, so I know how you felt. 
I'm glad Digit was able to awaken the 
dormant geek in you, and introduce you to 
the wonderful world of technology - just 
as it did for me over a decade ago. Keep 
reading and sending us feedback, and also 
join our forum - - 
if you're not already a member. 



M I am a subscriber of Digit and first of 
all I want to congratulate you on your 
tremendous improvement in delivery of 
issues to subscribers, which previously 
was a thorn in the petal of roses provided 
by you. I had received my past issues on 
1st of the month itself. 
Regarding opinion on "World View", I 
personally love this section. It provides 
me with a lot of information about 
various technologies and more. Please 
carry on with this section in the future. 
Your step to provide "World View" actu- 
ally helped my friends who are in the 
U.S. Pursuing a Masters degree. 
Regarding Fast Track, reading it on 
paper as it is of immense use in my 
scheme of things. One can not always 
rely on the system due to electric short- 
ages and computer issues. In that case, 
the Fast Track will not be readable. Also, 
Fast Track in the book format is portable 
and easy to carry around. Moreover you 
are publishing the electronic editions of 
Fast Tracks in your December edition, 
so that can satisfy the ebook reader com- 
munity. Carrying these in digital format 

on the go requires either a laptop, which 
we do not carry always or a smart phone 
which many still do not possess. 
At last I want to make a small request 
to change the interface of your DVDs 
since the same interface has been around 
for lot of time and I think most of your 
readers want to see a change now. Also 
try to include posters of international 
bands with your issue or at least add 
them to your shopping cart. 

Abhishek Kapoor 

□ It feels great to know that you appre- 
ciate our new section World View. It is 
going to stay and isn't going anywhere as 
it seems to have got a thumbs up from 
a lot of readers like you who like to keep 
up with what's happening across the tech 
world. We always try to innovate to give 
readers like you nothing but the best. We 
understand your concern regarding Fast 
Track. We had got mixed opinions on the 
issue of hard copy vs e-book. For the time 
being we will stick to hard copies. We hope 
you like this month's special DVDs. 


M I am a great fan of your magazine 
and it has been a favourite of mine since 
May 2009. 1 first read it in my library and 
now I'm a subscriber too. I am an aspiring 
geek and a young programmer. Without 
Digit, my tech -journey wouldn't have 
ever started. I love Digit, but do have a 
few suggestions: 

1. Please include how to install alongside 
Linux ISO and partitioning. 

2. In the June issue you provided seeds, 
likewise can you provide electronic com- 
ponents. It'd be uneconomical but a boon 
to us readers! 

3. In World View can you please tie up 
with international websites as they pro- 
vide good content on their site but in an 
unorganized form unlike your magazine. 
5. Please improve your RSS Feed. It gets 
updated very late! That's all I have to say. 

H First of all your suggestions are incisive 
and thanks for send them in. We try to 
include Linux based articles in every 
issue and we have covered your topic in 

previous issues as well. The electronics 
components are a little difficult to 
manage due to logistical limitations. We 
are working on a cost effective alterna- 
tive so that our community would benefit 
in the long run. Stay tuned for more. In 
our World View section, we do in fact 
provide articles from reputed web sites 
such as the Ziff Davis Publishing Holdings 
Inc, publishers of several renowned web 
sites dealing with extreme technological 
advancements across the globe. These 
include Besides 
we hand pick links to international arti- 
cles on technology that are informative. If 
you have noticed, the first page of World 
View is dedicated to the best articles 
from one particular web site and we call 
it [website name CORNER]. We feel that 
there are many websites to which our 
readers should be exposed and we try not 
to limit ourselves to just a couple of inter- 
national web sites. We'll definitely rectifiy 
the issue with our RSS Feed. 


Digit I December 2010 I 



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iOS 4.3 in December? 

Apple iOS 4.3 expected in December could in mid- 
December could boost The Daily, the iPad newspaper 
collaboration between Apple and NewsCorp 


HTML5 on Aviary 

Creative photo-editing web app Aviary has announced an HTML5 
based photo-editor code-named Feather 

PlayStation Store hits 
India, offers value for 
money game downloads 
& subscription 


i_ r\j 

Users in India can 
now access the 
PlayStation Store 
in India, and also 
subscribe to PlayStation Plus 
service. If you're hooked on to 
the PS3, PSP, or PSP Go, you'll 
have an Xbox Live compatriot, 
and apart from being able to 
play online with other PSN 
members, you'll also be able to 
log on from anywhere. Besides, 
you'll also be able to download 

Perhaps the most exciting 
part of the deal is the rather 
unbelievable price of down- 
loading full games from the 
PlayStation Store for as little 
as ^225! You can even buy a 
PSP game for ?170. That's ten 
games for the price of one... 

and a rather large incentive to 
opt for a PS3. If you were won- 
dering about rights and terms 
such as DRM, note that it can 
be used on up to five other acti- 
vated consoles. 

The other highlight is the 
annual subscription package 
for PlayStation Plus, a service 
which will give subscribers 
access to free games and demos, 
as well as beta trials and other 
content, for ?2,850. Sony claims 
subscribers will get almost 
^14,000 worth of free content 
in the one year period. For those 
just wanting to try the service 
out, there is a 90-day PlaySta- 
tion Plus subscription package 
that retails for ^885, which will 
apparently offer almost ^6,500 
worth of free content. H 

LG introduces digital 
camera with 3G! 

Looks like LG has 
decided it has had 
enough of camera- 
phones, and has 
decided to try something new: a 
phone-camera. What's the dif- 
ference? The latter primarily 
functions as a compact digital 
camera, but offers telephony, 
as well as GPS and 3G connec- 

Called the LG L-03C, the 
phone-camera is due to release 

in Japan in January, associated 
with Japan's premier carrier, 
NTT-DoCoMo. Specifications 
of the device rival other equiva- 
lent compact digital cameras, 
with a 12.1MP sensor, ISO 
range of up to 3200, a Pentax 
1:3.6-55 3x optical zoom lens, 
Xenon flash, 720p HD video 
recording, GPS, and geo-tag- 
ging, as well as Wi-Fi, Blue- 
tooth, and 3G connectivity. 
The LG L-03C phone- 

Ten years later, 
LimeWire forced to 
kick the bucket 

After serving as 
one of the most 
popular P2P cli- 
ents for a decade, 
LimeWire has been issued a 
permanent injunction for copy- 
right infringement and unfair 

The case against LimeWire 
has been going on since 2006, 
when the Recording Industry 
Association of America (RIAA) 
filed its copyright infringement 
lawsuit. While it won a sum- 
mary judgement in May this 
year, the RIAA has now got the 
permanent injunction it was 
fighting for. Why? You guessed 
it: "downloading or sharing 
copyrighted content without 
authorization is illegal." 

Music labels will appar- 
ently now be entitled to seek 
damages from the LimeWire 
and its founder, Mark Gorton, 
and a hearing for this purpose 
has been scheduled for January 
2011, with up to $1 billion at 
stake. RIAA is obviously very 
happy with this vindication, 
and commented on the demise 

of the P2P client: "The court has 
now signed an injunction that 
will start to unwind the mas- 
sive piracy machine that Lime 
Wire and Gorton used to enrich 

Limewire CEO, Gorge 
Searle said that the Lime 
Group and LimeCompany are 
not yet down and out. Instead, 
the group is trying to work 
on a new music service called 
Spoon, and is apparently in 
talks with all four of the major 
labels that back the RIAA. 
He said: "We look forward to 
embracing necessary changes 
and collaborating with the 
entire music industry in the 
future." Don't expect things 
get up and running too soon 
though, as (you guessed it, 
again), the labels aren't being 
very cooperative. H 

camera has a 3-inch 
800x480 capacitive 
touch screen, and NTT 
DoCoMo's proprietary 
operating system. 
Memory, storage, and 
CPU specifications are 
still unknown at this 
point of time. 

Pricing has not 
been revealed as yet either, 
but one has to wonder what 
LG is thinking - will it price 
the L-03C as expensively as 
the premier camera phones in 
the market, or will it levy a sub- 

stantial premium over 
12MP compact digital 
camera prices? The 
device certainly won't 
fit as well in the pocket 
as a camera-phone, and 
will probably be sub- 
stantially heavier! 

The 3G connectivity 
option is definitely 
an added bonus and a major 
selling point for the device, 
potentially allowing for much 
higher-degree of anytime -any- 
where sharing than digicam 
users expect. H 


Digit I December 2010 I 





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Tablets from Acer 

Acer has unveiled three tablets, the 5 and 7-inch ones running 
on Android OS whereas the 10-inch one running on Windows 7 

$213,600 for an Apple 1 

An Apple 1, that was launched in 1976 for $666.66 was 
auctioned off at Christies for a whopping $2,13,600 

AMD Radeon HD 
6870 and HD 6850 
GPUs hit markets 

AMD has launched 
the Radeon HD 
6800 series with 
the HD 6870 and 
the HD 6850, which unlike what 
you'd expect, are the next-gen 
replacements for the HD 5770 
and the HD 5750, or the per- 
formance-mainstream market. 
The upcoming HD 6900 series, 
which is now rumoured to arrive 
sometime before the end of the 
year, will replace both the HD 
5800 and 5900 series, or the 
high- end performance market. 
The HD 6850 has a suggested 
retail price of $179.99, while the 
HD 6870 has a suggested price 
$239.99. Apart from full sup- 
port for 6-way Eyefinity, AMD 

claims that HD 6800 series has 
better tessellation execution that 
helps give up to 30% perform- 
ance improvement over Nvidia's 
competing graphic cards, as well 
as new features such as morpho- 
logical anti-aliasing and enhanced 
anisotropic filtering performance. 
How NVIDIA's efforts will 
compare with AMD's remains 
a very pertinent question, and 
for now however, until the HD 
6900 series rolls out (the dual- 
GPU [Antilles] HD 6990 is now 
rumoured to release only in Ql 
2011), the GTX 580 definitely 
holds the crown of the "fastest 
DX11 GPU on the planet", with 
much more grace than the GTX 

Microsoft takes on 
Google Apps with Office 
365 cloud service 

Microsoft has 
a new cloud 
service, called 
Office 365, which will include 
various Office desktop software 
as well Office Web Apps, online 
at The 
service will also include Share- 
Point, Exchange and Lync. It will 
officially go online next year, 
though beta testing opens now. 
The hosted software for busi- 
ness is not free, and is available 
for small businesses, profes- 
sionals and small companies 
with fewer than 25 employees, 
starting from $6 per user per 
month. This will include only 
web-based Office software. 

Office 365 for enterprises for 
midsize and large businesses, 
will start at $2 per user per 
month for basic e-mail, ranging 
up to $24 per user per month 
for the complete deal, including 
the full Office Professional Plus 
desktop suite, communica- 
tions server tools, online ver- 
sions of the desktop software, 
voicemail, enterprise social 
networking, instant messaging, 
Sharepoint, Exchange, Web 
portals, extranets, voice confer- 
encing, Web conferencing, 24x7 
phone support, and on-premises 

The platform will apparently 
work across multiple devices, 
and will introduce great new 

ASUS shows off 
upcoming boards 

ASUS recently 
held several tech- 
nical seminars 
across the world. 
Digit was invited to one held 
in Singapore late October. 
ASUS showed some of their 
upcoming boards based on 
Intel's P67 chipset. One of the 
boards to be showcased was 
the Sabertooth P67 was one of 
the interesting designs with a 
clean flush surface covering 
most of the board. There are 
also plenty of sensors in the 
board which give the user 
an accurate idea of hot spots. 
ASUS calls it the Tactical Vest 
and its aimed at improving 
air flow around the board. 

collaborative as well as security 
features. It is expected to include 
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 
Online soon. Microsoft is obvi- 
ously taking on Google Apps, 
and to be fair, Google offers a 
free service for consumers and 
small businesses with Google 
Docs and Gmail. Google Apps 
also has a paid business ver- 
sion, for $50 per user per year. 
Microsoft previously retailed its 
Business Productivity Online 
Suite for $120 per user 
per year, so the varying 
price points for different 
sizes of businesses. 

According to Micro- 
soft Office president 
Kurt DelBene: 

"Moving to the cloud 
with Office 365 means 
people don't have to 
change the way they 
work, because [the 
suite] works with the 
most popular browsers, 

Following the rest of the RoG 
series, was the Maximus IV 
Extreme board based on the 
same P67 chipset. The board 
is aimed at extreme over- 
clockers and there have been 
some unique features such as 
overclocking remotely using an 
iPad or iPhone. 

ASUS also showed many 
other P8P67 boards for dif- 
ferent price brackets and in 
different form factors. One that 
caught our eye was a mini-ITX 
board. The seminar highlighted 
some of the features designed 
for their upcoming boards, 
after which there were over- 
clocking demos shown by R&D 
staff from ASUS. H 

smartphones and desktop appli- 
cations people use today." 

"With Office 365, your local 
bakery can get enterprise-cal- 
ibre software and services for 
the first time, while a multi- 
national pharmaceutical com- 
pany can reduce costs and more 
easily stay current with the 
latest innovations. People can 
focus on their business, while 
we and our partners take care 
of the technology." El 



e re giving away 

crores worth 
of gifts 

to our readers. 

to page 92 to rectoim your three 
guaranteed gifts 


Digit I December 2010 I 



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The percentage of buyers from USA that attended Taiwan RFID, 
Taitronics and Broadband 2010 at Nangang 


The number of stalls at Taitronics 2010 dedicated to 
meters and instruments 


Taiwan: the tech superpower? 

Nash David 

With the stake Taiwan enjoys 
in global trade, it stands out 
as the undisputed leader in 
terms of production, cost effectiveness and 
market delivery capabilities. This year, we 
visited three trade exhibitions in Taiwan 
hosted by Taiwan External Trade Devel- 
opment Council (TAITRA), the foremost 
non-profit trade promotion organisation 
in Taiwan. 

TAITRA has been organising similar 
exhibitions to boost trade for more than 
three decades promoting Taiwanese 
companies that cut across various 
industrial sectors from televisions, audio/ 
video, lighting, security to electronics 
components. Taiwan is the world leader 
in terms of global market share for chip 
resistors, WLAN NIC and IP phones; 
and number two in LED manufacturing, 
IC substrates and PCBs. This hints at a 
simple fact - you can't ignore Taiwan! 

The three exhibitions co-located at the 
TWTC Nangang Exhibition Hall, Nan- 
gang District, Taipei, Taiwan - Taitronics, 
Taiwan RFID and Broadband Taiwan 
were aimed at the Electronics, Security, 
and Broadband and Internet Service 
industries, respectively. The Vice Presi- 

dent of Taiwan, Vincent Siew, also known 
as the people's premier graced the event, 
and along with several other prominent 
government personnel inaugurated 
the event. Among the most significant 
announcements was that according to 
the IMD World Competitiveness Year- 
book 2010 of the International Institute 
for Management Development (IMD), 
Lausanne, Switzerland, Taiwan ranks 
sixth in the world and second in Asia for 
its competitiveness in green technologies. 

Go green 

We were pleased to see green technolo- 
gies being promoted by the Taiwanese 

Vice President of Taiwan, Vincent Siew, 
briefed by Everlight's Stephan Greiner 

government. We believe we need a similar 
boost in our country in order to witness 
a boost in the penetration of technologies 
such as LED lighting and fuel cells in 
organisations. According to Min-Hsien 
Lin, General Manager, Fuel Cell Research 
Divison, Tatung System Technologies Inc., 
"Yes, compared to the millions of dollars 
being quoted by American and European 
companies for fuel cells, Taiwan's Tatung 
has products that meet International 
quality expectations at much lower costs. 
In fact our technologies are also safe on 
the environment. We also have activities 
dedicated to harnessing our planet." 

W S Lin, Chairman and President, 
Tatung Co. spoke to us and told us how 
excited they were about the prospects in 
the future. As the head of a very respected 
and well known business house (a Tata of 
sorts), Lin expressed optimism towards 
the future. If you've not heard of Tatung 
before, you'd be surprised to know that 
you're probably using their products 
already. Several trusted brands (fea- 
tured in our Icons of Trust) source their 
products from Tatung (picture tubes, 
LCD, LED panels and semiconductors). 

The LED industry, too, is receiving the 
much needed fillip due to the thrust on 
greener technologies and is now worth 
over NT$60 billion. We spoke to several 


Digit I December 2010 I 




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Percentage of buyers at Taiwan RFID, Taitronics and 
Broadband Taiwan 2010 from Asian coutries, including India 


Total number of booths at the Taitra event at TWTC Nangang 
Exhibition Hall, Nangang District, Taipei, Taiwan 

companies dealing with LED lighting 
solutions. Stephan Greiner, Vice Presi- 
dent, Global Sales of Everlight Electronics 
Co. Ltd. was forthright in the advantages 
of sourcing components from Taiwan. 
He was excited too at the high quality 
standards of Taiwanese products when 
compared to other low cost models. He 
reiterated the sentiment shared by many 
we met in Taiwan, "the quality of products 
in Taiwan is superior at low prices." In 
fact, Everlight has used Taiwanese designs 
for one of the lamps it plans to introduce 
in the market. The leaning towards LEDs 
was evident all across the event, and in 
a country that has a controlling stake in 
global affairs, whether you are talking 
about lighting or green technologies, it 
won't be long before you mention Taiwan. 

Smart tags 

RF identification is also, a rather underu- 
tilised technology in India, again some- 
thing we need to learn from Taiwan. 
When we drive through our highways, 
and stop over at toll checkpoints, it 
reminds us of our time spent in Taiwan, 
where unmanned toll booths would 
directly transact with your vehicle as 
you drive through without any need 
to decelerate, leave alone stop your 
vehicle. In fact even the retail industry 
depends on RFID tagging to track goods 
being sold, and managing inventory. 

We don't see that happening in the 
stores around us. Who says foreign 
investment is bad for the Indian retail 

industry? What would we prefer, a 
few individuals growing richer by 
the day or increased transparency? 

Security measures 

Moving over RFID, Mifare and newer 
technologies are now finding their way in 
to the industry. Several Taiwanese compa- 
nies, including Soyal Technology Co. Ltd., 
showed us their latest range of security 
products. These include locks, safes and 
also fingerprint and finger-vein scanning 
devices. Similar to fingerprints, latest secu- 
rity devices now use finger-vein patterns 
to draw a unique pattern for each user 
registered with the system. The chances 
of forging and duplicating finger-vein 
patterns are much lower than fingerprints. 

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The number of available products were 
enormous. We saw paper thin LEDs 

Could this be the future of automobiles? An all electric, no fossil-fuel car! 

Each visitor was tagged, making use of 
technologies showcased at the event 

sewn to bags that you could fix on your 
bicycles. Although road rules aren't as 
stringent in India, the world over cyclists 
need to have a light indicating they are 
stopping. With inventions such as these, 
cyclists don't even have to do any fixing or 
fitting with their bicycles. We saw camera 
set-ups that capture vivid colour images 
even in extreme dark conditions; and even 
found intelligent power meters that cater 
to prepaid energy distribution networks. 
Another new product being promoted was 
the MEMS microphone. MEMS stands 
for MicroElectrical-Mechanical System. 
These kind of microphones are miniscule 
and are etched directly on to silicon chips. 

Another area we were pleased to 
explore was Web TV. Richard Chen, 
Product Marketing Manager for Webia 
Technologies gave us a demo of an effec- 
tive alternative to Google TV. A box, much 
cheaper than $100 running on Android 
would guide you through TV, email, 
chat, games and more. We're waiting for 
them to be sold in India. As for IPTV, 
they still haven't made a mark in India. 

The Indian market 

When we asked for their opinion on 
the Indian prospects, nearly everyone 
agreed to India being a "low cost" and 
"price critical" market. It's a perception 
globally that we tend to focus on products 
that are cheap, rather than emphasise on 
quality. Sad, really. We're looking forward 
to the day when consumers in India are 
considered discerning and choosy, rather 
than bargain hunters. It was comforting, 
however, when most of the companies 
said they were watching India closely... H 


Digit I December 2010 I 



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Web watch 

A round up of our top ten web services 
and apps in 2010 


Firefox:What went wrong? 

A few years ago, we waited for it to become 
the biggest browser ever. Not anymore... 

2010: The year of the OSes 

While 2010 has 
been the year 
of the tablet, 
we certainly 
think it might as well be called 
the year of the mobile. We 
saw the launch of new mobile 
operating systems, countless 
phones, new chipsets, new 
display technologies, tablet- 
phones, phone-cameras, and a 
lot more- 
New OSes 

Seven new operating systems 
were released in 2010 - Apple's 
much updated iOS 4, Google's 
polished Android Froyo, RIM's 
touch-friendly BlackBerry OS 
6, Symbian Foundation's much 
maligned Symbian A 3, Intel and 
Nokia's MeeGo, HP-Palm's 
refreshed webOS2.0, and Micro- 
soft's mixed review champion 
- Windows Phone 7. 

All of these brought some- 
thing new to the table, and all 
of them learnt something from 
each other. A thing that they all 
share in common is a conscious 
movement towards simplicity, 
with seamless form, followed- 
up by powerful functionality. 
Each offered users many of 
the features they'd been asking 
for, and each received varied 
amounts of praise and criti- 
cism. No matter how well they 
fared against each other now, 

the future of all these platforms 
looks promising, with major 
updates already promised to 
arrive by next year, and all the 
bustling competition making 
the end user the real winner. 

Apple's iOS devices, and 
the iPhone have been doing 
especially well this year - over 
14 million iPhones sold in last 
quarter . However, Android saw 
the most remarkable growth 
this year, despite what some 
call fragmentation in the form 
of three separate operating 
systems on sale in the market. 
Starting with a U.S. smartphone 
market share of 14 per cent in 
January (according to an AC 
Nielsen report), compared to 
Apple's 32 per cent and RIM's 34 
per cent, Android assimilated 
a dominating 32 per cent share 
of the market by August 2010, 
leaving RIM and Apple each 
a quarter. The introduction of 
Froyo (Android 2.2), saw wide- 
scale manufacturer adoption, 
and a burgeoning of Android 
market share. 

Now, Gingerbread (Android 
2.3) is already being shown off, 
and the improvements it prom- 
ises will soon be mass-adopted 
by manufacturers in early 2011. 
Android, just like iOS, will 
soon also get a tablet- oriented 
variant, called Honeycomb 
(Android 3.0). 

Mobile brands 

Nokia remained at the top of 
the handset market, but lost 
a chunk of its lead. LG, Sony 
Ericsson and RIM also suffered 
major losses, while Apple saw 
some astounding growth - bag- 
ging a top four spot, ahead of 
RIM and Sony Ericsson! Sam- 
sung held on to its fifth spot. 
HTC and Motorola, although 
not on the list for now, are also 
quickly gaining market share, 
and might pose a serious threat 
to Apple and RIM in 2011. 

At home in India, it's the 
domestic brands that have made 
the most impact, taking chunks 
of market shares away from 
Nokia and Samsung. We have 
a really complex market, with 
about 35 brands competing in 
a cut-throat business. In India, 
Nokia's share fell from 54 per 
cent at the end of June 2009 to 
36.3 per cent in June 2010. In 
contrast, the top four domestic 
brands (Micromax, Spice, 
Karbonn and Lava) together 
account for nearly 33 per cent 
of the sales. Now Nokia has 
contested these figures, and 
these numbers are usually con- 
sumed with a pinch of salt, but 
it's undeniable that the Indian 
brands are on the rise. . The Top 
5 according to IDC were Nokia, 
Samsung, G'Five, LG, and 

Top 5 mobile phone vendors, Q3 2010 (Units in Millions) 


Q3 (10) Unit 

Q3 (10) 
Market Share 

Q3 (09) Unit 

Q3 (09) 
Market Share 


1. Nokia 

32.4 per cent 


36.5 percent 

1.8 per cent 

2. Samsung 


21.0 percent 


20.3 per cent 

18.6 percent 

3. LG Electronics 


8.3 percent 


10.6 percent 

-10.1 percent 

4. Apple 


4.1 percent 


2.5 percent 

90.5 percent 


3.6 per cent 


2.9 percent 

45.9 per cent 



30.5 percent 


27.2 percent 

28.30 per cent 

100 per cent 


100 per cent 

14.6 per cent 


With a launch seemingly every 
other day, 2010 was a joy for 
tablet lovers. The Apple iPad 
was the first major device to hit 
the market in April, and it sold 
a whopping 3 million units in 
under three months! 

Other tablets were slow to 
arrive on the scene officially, 
with the Samsung Galaxy Tab 
hitting markets only recently, 
after the Dell Streak launched 
in June to a lukewarm recep- 
tion. The Toshiba Folio 100 also 
launched with poor reviews. The 
CrunchPad, which later became 
the Joojoo from Fusion Garage, 
gave us hope, but it was plagued 
with usability issues. The Indian 
favourite, Notion Ink's Adam, is 
still under development, and is 
expected to release only in 2011, 
but it still looks promising. 

HP ended-up sticking with 
webOS 2.0 for its consumer- 
oriented tablets, and used Win- 
dows 7 on its enterprise oriented 
devices. It's just released the 
high-performance HP Slate 500 
for enterprise customers, which 
looks to have a promising future. 

The Apple iPad has yet to hit 
Indian markets, officially. The 
most interesting tablet available 
here is Olive Telecom's recently 


Digit I December 2010 I 




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Home theatre. ^p—*™ 

Now in travel size. 

What good is watching a movie on your laptop if you feel like closing the lid? 

With razor sharp graphics, JBL sound design and a full HD screen, the new XPS™ 15 laptop 

gives you a movie experience that you'll never walk out on. You can tell it's Dell. 





3D smartphones? 

Spice recently Launched the first autostereoscopic 
phone, enabling 3D viewing for just ?4,299 

Mobile manners 

According to a recent survey, 72 per cent people 
hate bad mobile phone behaviour 

released OlivePad VTIOO - an 
Android 2.2-based, 7-inch tablet 
with full phone functionality 
as well as 3G and Wi-Fi con- 
nectivity, and is priced around 
^24,000. ViewSonic owns rights 
to the design in some markets, 
including the US and Europe, and 
is launching it as the ViewSonic 
ViewPad 7 ViewSonic will also 
release three more tablets soon. 
Other manufacturers, such as 
MSI, RIM, Acer, LG, and Asus, 
all have tablet devices coming up 
by end 2010 or early 2011. 

New phones 

There were plenty of new 
phones launched this year, from 
Nokia's claim to the smartphone 
crown with the photo -happy 
Symbian A 3-based Nokia N8, 
to the fast- spawning Android- 
based Samsung Galaxy S and 
its wide family. Other notable 
mobiles include the Apple iPhone 
4, HTC Desire, BlackBerry Torch, 
Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, and 
Motorola Milestone XT720. 

Dell made its mark in the 
mobile handset world this year, 
starting with the Streak. It also 

HP acquired 
Palm earlier this 
year, and the 
industry was 
eager to know just 
what HP intended 
do with Palm's 
acclaimed propri- 
etary mobile tech- 
nology. HP kept 
mum for most of 
the year though, 
until it previewed 
the Palm Pre 2 - 
the successor to 
the successful Palm 
Pre, featuring a 
new and improved 

Other notable mobiles intro- 
duced include the Sony Ericsson 
S006, which will offer a 16.4 MP 
camera to users, as well as the LG 
L-03C phone-camera, which is a 
device with the form factor of a 
compact digital camera. 

Most Windows Phone 7 
phones have received good 
reviews, while the operating 
system seems to have made 
quite an impression with critics 
and masses alike. Of course, only 
time and continual 
improvement will tell 
if WP7 will survive in 
the competition-ridden 
smartphone world. 

Exciting prizes 
to be won! 

Head over to page 90 and 91 
to participate in some awesome 


previewed numerous other 
models, based on Android and 
Windows Phone 7, most of which 
will be releasing early 2011. Dell 
also tried its hands at selling re- 
branded ZTE phones in India, 
getting on the low-cost Android 
handset bandwagon. 


A lot of new hard- 
ware was introduced 
this year, from Super- 
and Retina Display 
screens, to hardened 
Gorilla Glass, better 
cameras, and more 
capable mobile processors. 

Processors are becoming 
smarter and faster, and if anything, 
they require power-consumption 
to be optimised in the face of all 
that performance. While 600 
MHz has become the absolute 
minimum clockspeed for a smart- 

phone or tablet proc- 
essor, 1 GHz proces- 
sors first introduced 
in 2010 are found in 
numerous devices. 
Right now, leading 
processor and chipset 
manufacturers are 
all concentrating 
on providing the 
best performance 
per watt, whether 
they use System- 
on-Chip designs or 
more conventional 
chipset, dual-core 
or single-core. Cur- 
rent hopefuls are 
the ARM-designed 
dual-core Cortex A9 derivatives, 
such as the 1 GHz Samsung Orion. 
Qualcomm has also announced its 
dual-core Snapdragon processors, 
due in early 2011, running at 1.2 
GHz and 1.5 GHz. The NVIDIA 
Tegra 2 is also finally seeing some 
wide-scale adoption, being chosen 
by LG to power its Optimus lineup 
of smartphones. 


It's been a very tough year for 
RIM, losing market share to 
Apple, Nokia, and Android 
devices. RIM's latest flagship 
phone, the BlackBerry Torch, 
which features its latest OS 
(BlackBerry 6), has not done well 
in global markets, and received 
very lukewarm reviews. How- 
ever, things might be looking up 
in the form of the full-featured 
RIM PlayBook (tablet), when it 
releases later this year. 

What 2011 will bring 

2011 promises to be even more 
exciting then 2010, with all those 
new operating systems vigorously 
competing in the very level playing 
field of the global mobile market. 
Windows Phone 7 in particular 
promises to evolve further and 
continually better itself, providing 
better security features, Xbox Live 

functionality, a better mobile app 
market, numerous new handsets, 
and finally, even simple copy and 
paste functionality. We also look 
forward to a whole bunch of tab- 
lets from a variety of manufac- 
turers, big and small... Google's 
tablet friendly version of Android, 
Honeycomb, will certainly galva- 
nise the market further. 

The next generation iPad is 
also expected, featuring a higher 
resolution display, front facing 
camera, and a new and improved 
tablet-specific version of iOS4. In 
the Indian context, 3G is certain 
to bring a sea of change. All of a 
sudden, phones that can actually 
utilise the new data connections 
efficiently, allowing for a much 
better browsing experience, loads 
of mobile apps and value added 
services, more social networking 
and media consumption. 

In terms of mobile hardware 
technology, we'll also see the first 
handsets arriving with dual core 
and other newer mobile proc- 
essor architectures, hailing a new 
performance high in the mobile 
world, whether in the tablet, net- 
book, or mobile phone form factor. 
The Samsung Galaxy i9100S, or 
Google's latest Android flagship, 
the Nexus S, seems like it will be 
first such device, featuring Sam- 
sung's dual-core Cortex A9-based 
Orion processor. 

On the software front, aug- 
mented reality will continue to 
grow, and as we all become more 
connected with 3G and 4G serv- 
ices, you can expect a whole world 
set alongside reality, providing 
you with information as and when 
you need it. Numerous developers 
are getting their hands dirty in this 
field, with the most notable being 
Google, with its Google Street 
View technology and connected 
search features. 

All in all, 2011 sure looks like 
it will be an exciting time to be 
alive, if technology on the go is 
your thing. El 


Digit I December 2010 I 








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A nice scheduling webapp that is more Like a to do List 
that focuses on tasks around a certain date. Check it out 

Import your rss feeds into this neat webapp and read 
news directLy from your favourite sites 

Top 10 web services 
and apps of 2010 

Web apps and 
services fea- 
ture as a big 
part of most 
of our daily lives, and are 
mostly taken for granted, and 
for that reason, we'd like to pay 
tribute to some of the best of 
2010. While some of the big- 
gest apps and services that 
we have honoured have been 
around for a while, numerous 
enhancements in feature sets 
made this year, as well as their 
continued relevance in the cur- 
rent scenario make them eli- 
gible. Sheer ease of use and the 
raw capability of each web app/ 
service was another important 
factor in our evaluation. 

Office Web Apps 

Microsoft's Office Web Apps, 
was released in June of this 
year, and has already made a 
mark on the web app scene. 
A free web-based version of 
Microsoft's Office productivity 
suite, it includes web-based 
versions of Microsoft's much- 
loved Office software, including 
Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and 
OneNote. The main advantages 
of cloud based Office produc- 
tivity stem from anytime, any- 
where accessibility, as well 
as online collaboration. Sup- 
ported web browsers include 
Internet Explorer 7 and later, 

-.--;.. — 

■ "•"li* 


Mozilla Firefox 3.5 and later, 
Google Chrome, and Safari 4. 
The Office Web Apps 
service is meant to replace 
Office Live Workspace, and ties 
in with Microsoft's Skydrive 
storage service that offers 25 
GB storage. The service is inte- 
grated with Office 2010 so you 
can save documents straight to 
the web. While it is a slightly 
watered down version of Office 
2010, but has enough features 
for casual users. While it still 
lags behind Google Docs in fea- 
tures but it is has much better 
compatibility with oft-used 
Microsoft Office formats. 


Google Docs 

Google Docs has seen quite 
a few changes in 2010, from 
abandoning IE6 to completely 
renovating its Docs engine. 
Google Docs is now one of the 
most comprehensive document 
suites online. Just this year, the 
Google Docs team have added 
nine major new features: 

• Support for any kind of file on 
Google Docs 

• Support for multiple file ver- 

• A thumbnail view for docu- 

• A web clipboard 

• A completely new revamped 

editor for Google Docs with 
real-time sharing 

• Google Docs drawings editor 

• OCR support for recognizing 
text from uploaded images 

• Spellchecker, with support for 
adding words to the online 

• Improved document revisions 

• More web fonts in editor 

• Drag and drop adding images 
to documents 


Gmail, one of the most used 
email providers in world, has 
seen numerous updates in 
2010, with plenty of Gmail Lab 
updates 'graduating' into the 
standard version, and plenty of 
other new features, including a 
revamped interface, and a new 
mail sorting mechanism. Other 
new features offered in 2010 

• Priority Inbox which lets auto- 
matically detects which mails 
are important and shows them 
separate from your normal 
mail. It learns over time. 

•Better support for devices, 
such as Android, iPhone and 

• Turning off conversation view 

• Video chat for Linux 
•Voice calling straight from 

GMail. Can also receive calls. 
Ties in with Google Voice. 

• Renovated contacts manager 
•Access multiple GMail 

accounts at once 


by Google BETA 

• Drag and drop attachments to 
and from emails 

• Nearly instant loading of 
GMail windows 

• Google Buzz, lots of contro- 
versy while launching, but is 
now quite in use 

• Nested labels 

• Improved account security 

• Search auto-complete 


2010 saw quite a few changes 
incorporated into the Twitter 
service, and the biggest of them 
was a new revamped interface 
that was richer in media and 
real-time. Other new features 

• @anywhere, Twitter inte- 
grated in other web sites so 
you can tweet and follow from 
any web site which supports 

• Promoted tweets, tweets paid 
for by companies to stay on 
top of search results 

• Promoted accounts, Twitter 
accounts that appear on the 
top of suggestions, promoted/ 
paid for by companies 

• Promoted trends 

• Promoted accounts, trends 
and tweets opened up to 3rd 

• The Library of Congress mis- 
sion to preserve all tweets for 

• Twitter launched official 
apps for Blackberry, iPhone, 
iPad, Android, and Windows 
Phone 7 

• link shortening service 
integrated with twitter 

• Geolocation support 
•Completed transition to 



Digit I November 2010 I 




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This bookmarklet Lets you annotate any webpage and 
quickly share it with your friends 

A web based notepad that Lets you password protect 
notes and even set expiration dates 


Easily the biggest social net- 
working service on the web, 
Facebook claims to have in 
excess of 500 million users. 
An integral part of many 
people's lives, Facebook has 
also been the favourite target 
for privacy groups. While no 
social network has been spared 
from controversies regarding 
privacy, Facebook has faced 
the brunt of the unrest. Major 
changes include: 


• Collaboration with skype 

• New design 

• Facebook chat 

• High-res photos in albums, 
face recognition and auto- 

• Change in privacy settings 
(huge controversy / hue and 

• a lite version 
of Facebook which will not be 
charged for on certain mobile 
networks, for example Airtel 
in India 

• Facebook places 

• Friendship pages 

• New version of Groups 
•Ability to download your 

entire Facebook profile to file 

• Remote logout and one-time 

• Modern messaging system 
with consolidated social inbox 
for SMS, IM, email, and chat 

Project ROME 

This incredible web applica- 
tion by Adobe brings some very 
powerful content creation and 
publishing features to the web. 
Called an "all-in-one content 
creation and publishing appli- 

cation", Project Rome lets "vir- 
tually anyone at work, home 
or school inject the power of 
graphics" into their work, and 
easily share it with the world. 
It is available both as a web app 
and a desktop app. Features 

• Built-in Flash support 

• Browser-based and also avail- 
able as an AIR app 

• Rich interface for creating rich 
media documents 

• Great for presentations 

• Supports adding, photos, 
vector art, even video 

• Supports interactive elements 
such as hotspots and buttons 

• Supports multiple pages, mul- 
tiple layers 

• Supports animating elements 
using a timeline 

• Projects can be saved to 
desktop or stored online at 

• Projects can be exported as 
static prints, images, PDF or 
even interactive SWFs 

Ubuntu One 

This great service by Canonical 
made Ubuntu's 10.04 upgrade 
more than just a simple OS 
update. A storage application, 
Ubuntu One is currently in 
public beta, but has already 
made it mark with its innovative 
approach to syncing and media 
tion. Essentially, the service ena- 
bles users to store and sync files 
online and between computers, 
both Ubuntu and Windows. A 
free Ubuntu One account offers 
2 GB of storage, which can be 
increased to 20 GB with a paid 
upgrade of $2.99 per month. An 
Ubuntu One Mobile packages 
for iPhone and Android phones 
also exist for music streaming. 
Ubuntu One is quite unique 
compared to other similar 
service providers, by providing 
a range of integrated features 
that work well with standard 

Ubuntu apps, such as Evolu- 
tion and Tomboy. Additional 
support is also forthcoming, 
including local network syn- 
chronisation, browser book- 
marks, and enhanced applica- 
tion synchronisation with the 
Ubuntu Software Center. 


The world's most used VoIP 
service, Skype apparently 
accounts for a significant por- 
tion of international calls made 
in the world, with a report 
by TeleGeography Research 
stating that Skype-to-Skype 
calls accounted for 13 per cent 
of all international call minutes 
in 2009 - that's 54 billion call 
minutes on Skype! 

Skype 5.0 has introduced 
some great new features, 
including 4-way video calling, 
automatic dropped call 
recovery, improved interface, 
updated mobile clients, and 
Facebook integration in form 
of friends/phone book, IM and 
SMS, and news feed support. 
Offline Facebook message 
support has also been added, 
stored free for 30 days on Sky- 
pe's servers. 


One of the most popular photo- 
sharing services (Picasa Web 
Albums), Picasa is also a web 
app with its image organiser, 
view and editor features. 
A blend of "mi casa" and 
"Picasso", the name means 
a home for personalised art 
and pictures. It offers wide 
support for even legacy oper- 
ating systems, including Win- 
dows 98, ME, and 2000, apart 
from complete support for all 

modern operating systems. Its 
numerous features include: 
organisation and editing, key- 
word data management, image 
meta search, image backup, 
face recognition, geotagging, 
and more. 

Continually innovating, 
we know we can expect more 
great advances in field of photo- 
sharing/viewing/editing from 
Picasa, from the method of 
uploading to automatic meta- 
data generation. 


Definitely the smallest player in 
our list of web apps and serv- 
ices, Aviary can easily compete 
with Adobe's online content 
creation suite, Project Rome. 
It's developed by the relatively 
unknown WorthlOOO. 



Built on the Adobe Flex 
platform, Aviary has a whole 
bunch of web-based multi- 
media applications to offer, each 
of which is named after a bird. 
Available absolutely free-of- 
charge, users can use Phoenix 
for image editing, Raven for 
vector editing, Myna for audio 
editing, Roc for beat generation, 
and the many other bird-named 
services. Plans are underway 
for pixel pattern recognition 
software, a word processor, 
image resizing, font creation, 
a terrain generator, and video 
editors. Go Aviary! H 


Digit I December 2010 I 





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Feel all the passion, and all the thrills of 

3D Hollywood movies right in your living room 

When James Cameron 
brought Avatar to reality, 
no one dreamt about its 
grand success in the film 
industry. A few months later, color TVs, HD 
TVs and now FULL HD 3D TVs have begun 
a race for dominance. As the competition 
gets hotter, the sophisticated technology 
is becoming much more affordable for the 
common man. To be precise one has to pay 
just about 25% more for the 3D counterparts 
than the Flat Panel HD Displays, as per the 
latest estimates. The special 3D Eyewear 
from Panasonic is said to cost just ?9,000. 
With all due credit to the cheaper and effi- 
cient Plasma panel technology, Panasonic 
joins the bandwagon of 3D TV era with a 
bang, by unleashing a wide-array of FULL 
HD 3D TVs into the Indian market. Two 
Panasonic 3D Full HD TVs (TH-P65VT20D 
and TH-P50VT20D) are priced at ^3,79,000 
and ?1,99,000, respectively. 

There are three variants to 3D technology 
- Line by line method, Checkered sampling 
method and Frame Sequential technology. 
The line by line method was used to draw 
stereoscopic images (left and right) sequen- 
tially one below the other, by dividing the 
screen into lines leading to blurred after- 
images while retracing a new image. 

In the checkered sampling method, the 
screen was divided into a dot matrix, with 

stereoscopic images laid out as pixels in a 
checkered pattern. The result was compro- 
mise in the pixel density of the final output, 
wherein the 3D image resolution nose-dived 
to half the resolution of the original HD 
image, leading to loss of image clarity and 
out of focus issues. 

Frame sequential technology merges 
two stereoscopic images with the use of 
specially designed 3D Eyewear allowing 

optimum light to pass through the eyes and 
also retain the light intensity until the next 
image is boosted. 

Panasonic cleverly adopted the Frame 
Sequential technology into its new breed of 
FULL HD 3D TVs, that promise to capture 
your imagination and take you closer to the 
virtual realism of 3D world! 

The "Advanced technologies", as termed 


by Panasonic are as follows: 

NeoPDP 3D: It has much higher refresh 
rate than normal LCD displays and can 
contribute to higher luminescence levels 
without banding. The result is crisp and 
high-clarity images even across the borders 
and edges. 

Quadruple Luminous efficiency tech- 
nology: It contributes to boost the images on 
the plasma screen to full brightness in 1/4 th 
the time. This process eliminates the lack of 
brightness in dark scenes or night scenes 
that could result in loss of image clarity, by 
constantly refreshing the screen brightness. 

Eyespeed 3D drive technology: In order 
to adopt the frame sequential technology of 
FULL HD 3D, each image has to be proc- 
essed in under l/120th of a second. Hence, 
in order to maintain the luminescence for 
such a fast processing, the luminescence 
time had to be reduced which could lead 
to lower brightness levels. So, the lumines- 
cence time was reduced by increasing the 
luminescence intensity at periodic intervals 
to maintain an uniform brightness level 

Cross-talk Reduction Technology: To 
eliminate the major drawback inherent in 
conventional 3D systems, Panasonic imple- 
mented two new technologies called, "fast- 
decay R and G phosphors", which reduce 
the afterglow effects to 1/3. Thus, leading to 
crisp and clear 3D images sans the afterglow 

With all due credits, Panasonic is rightly 
headed towards the road to the future! On 
a positive note, let's hope that every house- 
hold is blessed to embrace the might of 3D 
technology in its full glory... 


Digit I October 2010 I 



ideas for life 





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A free and open source Layout engine 
on which Firefox is based 

Mozilla Labs's Fl experiment 

Intends to make sharing content part of the browser. 
Currently supports Facebook, Twitter and Gmail 


What went wrong? 

Siddharth Parwatay 

To put the above question into 
context we need to take a small 
walk down memory lane. Back 
in the day, IE was the only 
browser around and then from Netscape's 
ashes rose Firefox, one of the most suc- 
cessful open source projects in history 
It was a browser that was more secure, 
customisable, but more importantly made 
by geeks, for geeks. Mozilla's Firefox 
hasn't looked back since then, becoming 
the browser of choice for anyone who had 
a little more sense than a featherbrained 
emu. Internet Explorer's world domina- 
tion came to a grinding halt and it started 
loosing market share rapidly. 

Cut to today and you have a very dif- 
ferent scenario. Firefox faces competition 
on many different fronts. Google's Chrome 
has come a long way since its initial buggy, 
crashy days. Opera, which was side-lined 
for a long time, is back with a bang. IE 9 
is supposed to be more secure and most 
reports around suggest "it's not bad". Then 
there's Safari; that's it, it's just there. And 

A few years ago 
we waited for it 
to become the 
biggest browser 
ever. Today... not 
so much 

all of them have added extension support 
which for a long time was Firefox's biggest 
USP. If you've noticed all of these competi- 
tors have slowly but surely broken down 
each of Firefox's prime features - person- 
alisation, performance, and security. 

The reason we noticed something was 
wrong was because out of all machines 
operating in the Digit office right now, only 
one was running Firefox as the default 
browser. With many of the members of 
Team Digit being self-confessed fanboys 
at one point or the other, this was a bit 
unnerving. Other than that we've had our 
ear to the ground and caught murmurs of 
preference slowly but surely shifting away 
from Firefox. We decided to check up on 

some statistics to corroborate our hunch. 
According to sources such as NetMarket- 
Share, Firefox has been on a steady decline 
- from a global share of 24.43 per cent in 
Jan 2010 to now 22.83 per cent in October. 
Two percentage points may not seem like 
much, but it translates into a huge actual 
drop. This is even more glaring when 
contrasted with Chrome which has been 
steadily on the rise - nearly doubling its 
market share in the same period (from 
4.63 per cent to 8.50 per cent). On a side 
note, we'd like to mention unknown but 
wildcard entities like RockMelt - the new 
'social' browser - are also entering the fray. 
But what about India you may ask? The 
Indian market is a little slower to react to 
global trends. The story isn't drastically 
different. According to StatCounter the 
market share for Firefox has gone from 
32.98 per cent in October 09 to 33.12 per 
cent in Oct 2010. At the same time IE 
declined by about 10 per cent, and Chrome 
gained almost the same. What this could 
possibly mean is that IE's loss converted 
straight to Chrome. Could this have some- 
thing to do with Google placing a full page 
print ad in India's most widely read daily? 
And what has caused this small but steady 
erosion from Firefox to other browsers? 

From a usability standpoint, we 
decided to list out few of the things that go 
against Firefox in the current scenario. 

Speed: We did a "hunt for the fastest 
browser on earth" some time back on (http://bit.Ly/aSY5wx) 
that ran contenders through a series of 
tests and benchmarks including Acid 3, 
Dromaeo, SunSpider, V8, CSS Selector, 
PeaceKeeper, JSNES Rendering, real 

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A A Jetpack APIs 

Now rechristened The Jetpack SDK, it's an 
i|f * JF environment for building Firefox add-ons 
using common web technologies 

Firefox Sync 

Allows you to access your history, passwords, 
bookmarks and even open tabs across all your devices. 
Wonder if it'll sync extensions as well like Chrome sync? 

world tests on JavaScript heavy web 
sites such as Google Wave, Threadsy 
and even a bit of Nuclear radiation for 
good measure. The result read some- 
thing like this "Opera gives us a clue to 
how much improvement is possible in 
a browser's speed through native code 
generation. Opera 10.50's claim for being 
the 'fastest' is not very far from the truth. 
If you go by numbers though, Chrome 
won - whether the stable version or 
the developer version, Google Chrome 
beats its competitors more often than 
not, and is the fastest browser out there" 
- as per the date of the test, of course. 

Extensions: Everyone's got them 
now! And to be honest the Chrome com- 
munity is just as vibrant. The extension 
web site for Chrome has a more social 
feel to it. There's categorisation, a rating 
system, commenting and we wouldn't be 
wrong if we said most Firefox addons/ 
extensions have now been ported to 
Chrome. Opera extensions are also 
growing steadily too. The best part about 
Chrome extensions is that they don't 
need a restart to install, and have the 
ability to pop out on the same screen. 

Startup time: A minor but insanely 
prickly problem with Firefox. Historically. 

Perception: This of course does not 
have anything to do with actual usability 
but Firefox is no longer considered by 
many to be the light, renegade alternative 
that it once was. Besides, is Webkit now 
increasingly becoming the layout engine 
of choice? Flock, the social browser which 
started off as browser variant based on 
Firefox, has now moved to Chromium. 

At this point we decided to ask 
the Mozilla Foundation some some 

Exciting prizes 
to be won! 

Head over to page 90 and 91 

to participate in some awesome 


Q&A with Mozilla 

Mozilla's mission is to promote choice 
and participation on the Web, not gain 
market share. By those measures, this 
year has been an amazing success for 
Mozilla, as we continue to grow and 
innovate. Firefox 4 (which is currently in 
the beta cycle) has awesome new features 
Like Panorama, hardware accelerated 
browsing, and Firefox Sync for end-users; 
the new Jetpack add-ons API, WebGL, 
Open Audio and Video, CSS3, 
HTML5, and more, for designers 
and developers; and new security 
features Like Content Security 
Policies and HTTP Strict- 
Transport-Security that will help 
make the Web safer for everyone. 

We will continue to improve 
Firefox's performance. 
Competitive pressure on 
performance and stability is good 
for everyone and we welcome it. 

Our hardware acceleration and Asa DotzLer, Mozilla's 
Jagermonkey JavaScript engine Spokesmodel and 
bring a new Level of performance Storyteller 
to the Web for users and 
developers. Through Mozilla Labs, we will 
continue to innovate and experiment with 
great new features Like awesome one-click 
social sharing such as Mozilla Labs's Fl 
experiment. We'll ensure that Firefox's 
Add-on ecosystem stays ahead of the 

pack with the deepest and most powerful 
extension platform, as well as fast and 
easy extension creation with Jetpack 
APIs. Through projects Like Mozilla's 
Open Web App ecosystem proposal, we'll 
make sure that everyone, not just Mozilla 
users, will have a better Web application 

We will continue to make Firefox 
available on more platforms and in 

more Languages and we 
will continue to build an 
enthusiastic community of 
supporters who, by word of 
mouth, will spread Firefox 
to new markets and new 
users. We have reached 400 
million end users across 
80 Languages without 
traditional advertising 

We've stepped into 
services in a big way with 
features Like Firefox Sync. 
And we've built an amazing 
new version of desktop 
Firefox that's going to set a new bar for 
performance, features and fun. We've 
added tens of millions of new users this 
year and with the streamlined and blazing 
fast new Firefox 4 we hope to see that that 
growth continue to accelerate. 

difficult questions. Amongst these 
were also things like specific plans 
for India, whether they have plans to 
go back to the drawing board with 
respect to the code, and plans regarding 
Ad Spends and OEM tie ups. The 
response we got was enlightening to 
some extent, but in parts read like 
boilerplate marketing spiel. You can 
find excerpts of this in the box above. 
And we kid you not regarding the 
spokeperson's title - it's actually "Sto- 
ryteller". This wouldn't surprise you 
once you go through the responses. 

So we decided to do some digging 
and find out what the techie community 
is saying. On, the big daddy 
question-answer knowledge engines, we 
found an interesting discussion started 
by a head on question: "Will Firefox 
have double-digit market share in 3 to 5 
years?" The responses were interesting 
enough, but more so because of who 
the respondents were. John Lilly who 
at the time of answering the question 
was the outgoing CEO of Mozilla as 
expected said "I'm confident that it will. 

Product is getting better all the time, 
and especially with 4.0 approaching in 
the fall," In this same question answer 
thread, one of the founders of Firefox, 
Blake Ross is reported to have answered 
negatively, (as reported on TechCrunch 
and ZDnet) "I'm pretty skeptical. I think 
the Mozilla Organization has gradually 
reverted back to its old ways of being 
too timid, passive and consensus- 
driven to release breakthrough prod- 
ucts quickly," he had said. We couldn't 
find the answer on the Quora page has 
perhaps since been removed from there. 

Another interesting response on Quora 
was from Chris Bader the co-founder of 
Treehouse, an iPhone based photo sharing 
service. He said, "It would take a major 
swivel for Firefox to actually continue to 
grow, as Blake says, they have become 
passive. From a usability standpoint, 
Firefox has become a slow memory hog 
and I find myself using Chrome now" 

Well, to conclude, from what Asa 
Dotzler from Mozilla said to us, and 
John Lilly wrote on Quora, much of 
their hopes are resting on Firefox 4. H 


Digit I December 2010 I 


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Dig deeper 

Don't know how deep Facebook privacy goes? 
Read this post by the New York Times 

Default privacy? 

New Facebook features give you a default privacy 
setting which you are expected to find out about and 
change. Very interesting http://goo.gL/hv9o 



Own your social network 

With the recent piracy 
infringement by Face- 
book's apps giving out 
information of users' 
and their friends, one can't help but 
wonder: is your online identity really 
safe on centralised social networking 
sites? Worst part is, most people are 
unaware and simply choose to remain 
ignorant of the fact that over ten mil- 
lion users' have been affected by this 
gross invasion of privacy Now, we are 
not suggesting that you just close down 
your beloved Facebook accounts' simply 
because of such a calamity or that this is 

Rudresh Jariwala 

you are in charge of your content and 
not some 'corporation' that could use 
your content in a malicious or inappro- 
priate manner. Secondly, the traditional 
model involves you having an account on 
the same hosted service as your friend 
to view his details on that particular 
service. So if you don't have a Flickr 
account, you can't view their details. 
This resolves that problem by making a 
direct connection between your friend 
and you, thereby bypassing any hosted 
service and letting you listen to your 
friend's play lists even if you 
don't have a account. Nifty eh? 

set to be the next 'Facebook 
killer'. Instead, this is an 
introduction to an alternative 
that has been looming for a 
while now and is starting to 
generate some momentum. 

^^™^^^ = " 

Diaspora Oudes 





1R ' i'l i 1UG09M +4'* 9»ng ID Iwnc* (Oft 1od*F 


Bl H'H*!*! 

J| KWHllllKriV 

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m «^.*«*,*«.. 

W&S$k , <? 

The centralised model 

The decentralised model 


Diaspora, the open 
source, decentralised social 
networking platform. What 
does this mean? Well to put it 
in simple words, this basically 
means that you are responsible 
for hosting your own content 
and you decide who you wish 
to share it with. The hosting 
could be on a webserver that's 
owned or rented by you, your 
smartphone or you could just 
run it from an old PC in your 
basement. It was started by 
four guys over at NYU and 
they needed to get $10,000 
in seed money but ended up 
getting a whopping $200,000 
in donations including a con- 
tribution from the founder of 
Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg. 

It essentially solves a 
multitude of problems. Firstly, 

A sneek peek into the Diaspora interface 

It does have it's fair share of 
drawbacks as well, private hosting 
being the biggest of them all! 

Diaspora is currently in it's alpha 
stage and the developers and open 
source community still has many a 
man hour to pour into it till it becomes 
commercially viable. But if you really 
must scratch your itch of trying this new 
cross-platform social network, you will 
find all the information you need over at 
the Diaspora Wiki (http://goo.gL/a6Ma). 

There are other players' operating in 
this same field such as OneSocialWeb 
and if rumours are anything to go by, 
then Google's next attempt (third is it?) 
at a social networking platform suppos- 
edly going by the name GoogleMe will 
probably be the next show stealers. For 
now, all we Facebook-ers can do is be 
patient and hope that no hacker taps into 
the database and steals all our lives! Q 


Digit I December 2010 I 



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The trend of using computers for social networking 
actually started with the social networking web site 
called Friendster, which was launched in 2002 and 
continues to have millions of users 

Twitter App for BlackBerry 

The Twitter app for BlackBerry was launched in 
April this year. This app provides real-time push of 
Twitter messages, offers camera and photo gallery 
integration and much more 

For students, by students 
and of students... 

Billionaires in the 
making? We present two 
inspirational stories for 
Indian students... 

Anoop Verma 

readersletters@thinkdigit. com 

The fact that Larry Page and 
Sergey Brin had been stu- 
dents at Stanford when they 
conceived of Google has been 
chewed and regurgitated so many times 
that now it has started sounding like a 
monumental cliche. Then there is Mark 
Zuckerberg who gave birth to Facebook 
while he was still in college; Bill Gates 
and Michael Dell are also famous for 
having started very young. So can we 
then make the case that in order to make 
a mark in technology, you need to start 
young? The cycle of innovation in the 
tech industry does seem to favour the fast 
movers. Now, a few university students 
have come up with savvy business 
strategy of reaching out to smartphones 
users through two mobile apps - Foun- 
tainhop and Scoop. 

Though these applications are yet 
to reach out to larger community of 
students, they have already created an 

ample amount of buzz. Could this be the 
Next Big Thing of the tech world? As of 
now the target audience is confined to 
college circles, but then even Facebook 
used to be a college-only phenomenon 
once. Like Facebook, Fountainhop and 
Scoop too could one day expand to rope 
in millions of users from every walk 
of life. The thing is that smartphone 
usage is on the rise; in colleges almost 
every student worth his salt flaunts 
a smartphone, a few lucky ones even 
flash a latest iPhone or one of those 
Android powered devices. Applications 
like Foursquare, which provide loca- 
tion based networking mostly through 
smartphones, have already made a mark. 
Fountainhop and Scoop must also be 

seen in light of the fact that users these 
days are constantly looking for new 
ways by which they can share their ideas 
and build their networked groups. The 
campuses of larger universities have 
turned into a laboratory where new 
ideas and theories on networking can be 
experimented with before being released 
to rest of the society. If Fountainhop 
and Scoop are successful in attracting 
large number of users in the months 
to come, then they will become ripe for 
the next stage of their development. 


You can reach Fountainhop by pointing 
your browser to http://www.fountainhop. 
com/public. php. The main idea behind the 

application is to let smartphone users 
in college be part of a closely networked 
community; everyone is seamlessly 
updated about campus events. The four 
co-founders of this application are Zavain 
Dar, Salik Syed, Stellios Leventis and 
Nikil Viswanathan. The short profiles 
that they have posted on the website 
make them seem like typical youngsters, 
but it is also clear that they are gearing 
to make a mark in highly competitive 
mobile apps space. So how did they come 


Digit I December 2010 I 





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Social Networking on iPhone 

There are thousands of social networking apps available 
on the iTunes store, but the most popular is the one 
developed by Facebook 

Who owns Facebook! 

Paul D. Ceglia claims filed a lawsuit in New York Superior 
Court, claiming that he had a contract with Mark Zuckerberg 
which grants him 84 per cent ownership of Facebook 




What inspired you to start Fountainhop? 

Fountainhop actually started off as a 
class project for one of my entrepreneur- 
ship classes at Stanford and we ran with 
the idea over winter break after the class 
ended. We realised that even with all of the 
amazing technology we have today, there 
is still no good way for college students 
(and people in general) to find out what's 
going on around them especially in terms 
of events and their friends. 

Why Fountainhop? 

Fountainhopping is a tradition here at Stanford - basically we run around and jump around 
and play in the fountains at all times of the year. It's a Lot of fun and one of my favourite 
traditions at Stanford. The first day of classes my freshmen year, our dorm staff woke us 
all up at 5 AM and our entire dorm went jumping and playing from one fountain to the next 
through all of the major fountains on campus - it was absolutely amazing! 

Right now Fountainhop seems to be confined to college students. What about the rest 
of the world? 

We'll see; all we care about right now is that it's useful to college students. 

What role did your education play in developing Fountainhop? 

It's been absolutely invaluable; I've gotten a Lot of experience building various different 
pieces of software and am extremely glad to have had this opportunity to study here at 
Stanford. Really, it's been all about the people though; the friends that I've met here have 
been immensely inspiring and have made me reach out to try my best. 

Any inspiring words for college students in India? 

Just go for it. The best advice I've gotten is to just do it. Build something, try it out, and try 
launching it. If it works, great! If it doesn't work you just got a lot of experience. Seriously 
just try building something, release it and see how it goes, that's my main piece of advice. 

up with this quaint name "Fountainhop" 
for their application? In the blog on their 
website, this is how they try to explain 
the significance of the term - "The col- 
legiate tradition to tour the college by 
exploring and jumping in all the foun- 
tains the campus has to offer — literally 
hopping from one fountain to the next." 

Fountainhop makes networking 
easy by allowing users to automatically 
make their locations public on the app 
itself, or by posting a status update on 
Facebook profile. At all points of time, 
the users, students in this case, enjoy 
complete control on how much informa- 
tion they want to reveal and how much 
they want to safeguard. When quizzed 

about his foray into mobile app space, 
Zavain Dar, who is a student at Stan- 
ford says, "I'm particularly a fan of just 
doing it." Another co-founder of 
Fountainhop, Nikil Viswanathan, 
who is also at Stanford, elaborates, 
"Currently we don't have a busi- 
ness point of view, we just want to 
make something that's extremely 
useful to college students. We 
have started offering Fountainhop 
for free and we do hope that from 
here it will spread to other colleges 
around the country and beyond." 
Unlike the smartphone appli- 
cation called Foursquare, which 
is open to anyone, Fountainhop The 

Too busy Fountain hopping to work? 

requires a netID of Harvard, Princeton 
or Stanford for users to post events. All 
the updates get automatically sorted 
according to the time, and they are 
colour-coded by category to make it 
easier for users to understand their rel- 
evance in a quick and easy manner. How- 
ever, a lot of tweaking is still going on 
in the application and it is still too early 
to say how things are going to evolve. 
You might even be confronted with a 
completely different looking avatar of 
Fountainhop by the time you read this. 


When you point your browser to http://, you're faced with a rhe- 
torical question, "Are you in the scoop?" 
As of writing this, the application is 
still under development, but it might 
be released in a few weeks. According 
to a report published in VentureBeat, a 
venture-capital investment firm owned 
by Google CEO Eric Schmidt has made 
an investment in Trumpet Technologies, 
the Palo Alto-based start-up currently 

Scoop team hard at work 


Digit I December 2010 I 




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The Social Network 

Check out the new hoLLywood blockbuster to get 
a spiced up version of the founding of Facebook 

Before social networking 

Before social networking came about people would find ways 
to interact via a BBS - short for Bulletin Board System 

engaged in developing Scoop. If it is the 
profile of the financial backers that makes 
an impression on the critics and users, 
then by garnering funds from someone 
like Schmidt, Scoop has already entered 
into the big league. Corey Reese, the CEO 
of Trumpet, has recruited Nick Simmons 
and Michael Akilian, two inimitable 
college students to develop Scoop. 

Nick Simmons says, "In the world of 
Facebook and Twitter we still find out 
about what is happening on campus 
predominantly through word of mouth. 
This information should be spread more 
efficiently and should be at our finger- 
tips. Scoop allows people to talk about 
this information in real time." Once a 

Exciting prizes 
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Head over to page 90 and 91 

to participate in some awesome 


sufficient number of students are armed 
with smartphones, which are running 
this application, then it will become easy 
to hold a campus wide conversation. 
Everyone can be updated about formal 
or informal student events immediately. 
Scoop is also thought to be quite interac- 
tive as compared to other mobile apps. 
Initially Scoop will be launched as an 
iPhone application, but down the line the 
product is expected to become compat- 
ible with other popular smartphone 
models. While taking about the expan- 
sion strategy for Scoop, Nick Simmons 
says, "We would like to launch Scoop 
at one school initially. Then we want 
to learn from our mistakes, tweak the 
service to respond to user feedback, and 
launch at campuses across the United 
States and hopefully other countries!" 
The expansion strategy that those 
at the helm of Scoop are envisaging is 
a lot like the one followed by Facebook 


What inspired you to start Scoop? 

We've seen several online communities catch on at my 
school and at my friends' schools. This has made it clear 
that students want to talk about what's happening on 
their campus. 

What does Scoop stand for? We mean why is the 
application called Scoop? 

When we decided on a name for our product we were 
not completely finished defining the product-and it will 
continue to evolve as we receive feedback from users. 
Therefore, it is imperative to think of a name that accu- 
rately describes the scope of the product in a compelling 
way. The word "scoop" makes me think of a service that 
provides me with useful information in a fun and social way. At its core that is what we want our 
service to do. 

Right now Scoop seems to be confined to college students. Is there any chance that in future 
it will become a global phenomenon like Facebook? 

We are focused on designing an exciting product for college students at the moment. But, as I 
mentioned earlier, Scoop's core goal is to provide users with useful information, about what is 
going on, in a fun and social way. It is not hard to envision a future in which Scoop provides this 
service to any group of people, whether college students, high school students, people that live 
near each other, etc. Scoop is about creating a conversation for a community of people, not neces- 
sarily just college students. 

How has the education that you have received helped you in developing Scoop? 

The most helpful aspect of my education has been the social one, not the academic one. My friends 
on campus and affiliations with certain groups really helps me to spread the word about Scoop 
and make sure that the right people are using it. 

If a college student in India wants to start a social networking application for mobiles, what 
advise would you like to give him? 

Create a product that is simple and social! Users Love simplicity, especially in a new service and, 
as Facebook has taught us, they Love to be social. 

during the initial days of its inception. 
The application is going to be rolled out 
in many campuses across America and 
according to the feedback that is forth- 
coming from students the application 
will be tweaked and improved. Quin- 
tessentially this is going to be another 
case of students building a service for 
students. Finally when everything is 
set in place, the application will become 
available to the much larger section 
of humanity living outside the college 
campuses. The home page of Trumpet 
Technologies ( 
carries this interesting slogan, "Stay 
Hungry, Stay Foolish." As of now the 
promoters have not explained what this 

slogan means, but the company's mis- 
sion is listed as, "Mobile Local Search." 
There is no doubt that as 3G and 4G 
networks continue to expand across the 
world, the popularity of smartphones 
will skyrocket. Mobile apps such as 
Fountainhop and Scoop must be seen as 
a harbinger of a future, which is just 
round the corner. This is a future in 
which people will be extremely mobile, 
and yet they will be closely networked 
with their loved ones through some 
innovative applications running on their 
smartphones. But what's most promising 
is that the primary users of the apps are 
the ones developing them in the first 
place! H 

Digit I December 2010 I 



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How to speed up 

Windows 7 

Ubuntu (Linux) 

BlackBerry phones 

Firmware phones 

Your internet experience 

Your browser 

Task management 

Symbian phones 

Android phones 

Your PC without upgrading 

Your PC with upgrading 

Team management 

Mac OS 


Your CPU by overclocking 

Your gaming experience 

Your GPU by overclocking 

Your social networking skills. 
Your Wi-Fi network 

Additional stories 

Digit built India's fastest home PC 

Tech of the future to speed things up. 

Living faster with 3G networks 

Linux vs. Windows: which is faster? 

Tips & Tricks: Speed yourself up 


Speed up your life 


Windows 7 

With Windows 7 on some 
of our older PCs, this 
seemed like as good a 
place to start as any 

Siddharth Parwatay 

While Windows 7 may be 
far better designed for 
speed than Vista, there 
are still times when you 
find yourself drumming your fingers 
on your desk waiting for something to 
happen. If you have slightly older hard- 
ware you'll face this more often, but hey 
even if you have decent gear nothing satis- 
fies the performance junkie in you, right? 
Here's a set of tweaks that will kick your 
sluggish desktop into a performance PC. 

Disable indexing 

This feature provides content indexing, 
property caching, and search results for 
files, e-mail, and other content. How- 
ever this consumes resources and if 

you're not one of those who uses the 
search feature a lot, you can easily 
disable it. Right-click Computer in the 
Start Menu and click on Manage. Next 
find the Services option under Services 
and Applications. Look for "Windows 
Search" in the list of services. Right-click 
and open properties for this service. 
Under start up type choose "Disabled". 

Chuck out Aero 

You needn't give up your beloved Aero 
eyecandy if you don't want to. But if you 
don't have a graphics card with compute 
power to spare it's usually recommended 
that you do. Right-click on the desktop and 
click Personalize. Now choose the Win- 
dows 7 basic or Windows Classic theme. 

Use Ready Boost 

If you have a 2GB (or more) Flash drive 
lying around, you can use it to speed up 
your computer using Windows Ready- 
Boost. Once you insert the Flash drive 
click on Speed up my system in the Auto- 
play Now you can choose to dedicate the 
entire drive or part of it to this function. 



General | Log On | Recovery | Dependencies] 

Service name: WSeanch 
Display name: Windows Search 

Path to executable: 

C:\Windows -js; s:e- : i :ei ■;- - :e-:e- e-:e =■- -z-zdz - : 

~^c - t :: " :.-t ;?•■ :-: ?•;-..: :.:.:-; 

Service status: Started 

Start Stop Pause | Resume | 

| Cancel | [ Apply 


It is recommended that you use twice the E 

capacity of your onboard RAM. This does E 

provide some improvement in speed but E 
it's in no way like adding 2 GB of RAM. 

Turn off unused features | 

In the start menu simply type "Turn 
Windows features on or off". Click the 
result that comes under control panel. 
Here you'll see a list of features that 
are checked/unchecked. We recom- 
mend switching off Tablet PC features, 
Windows Gadgets Platform, etc. 

Give it more juice | 

Click on power options in the Control 
Panel. Now under preferred plans you will E 
find a Change Plan settings link next to the E 
plan that is currently in use. Now click on E 
Change Advanced Power Settings and use E 
the drop down to select High Performance. E 
This will give you the additional power 
needed to perform resource intensive 
tasks. The difference may not be notice- 
able on desktops but more on Laptops 
that are plugged into a powersource. 

Services begone | 

Windows 7 has a lot of services that 
can quite safely be turned off without 
loosing out on any functionality. Who 
the heck needs "Adaptive Brightness" 
anyway if you don't have ambient 
light sensors? To access services 
panel, and how to disable refer Dis- 
able Indexing tip above. However its 

Free apps for clean installation 

CCLeaner, TCP Optimizer, TeraCopy, Star- 
tup Delayer, GLary utilities, Spy bot search 
and destroy, Advanced SystemCare 




Digit I December 2010 I 



OB (0 
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Speed up your life 


best to set it to Manual rather than 
Disable so that Windows can invoke 
the service if it ever requires it. You 
can read the description of particular 
services and decide for yourself. 

Adjust visual effects 

Right-click Computer in Start menu 
and click Properties. Click Perform- 
ance Information and Tools at the lower 
left corner. Next click Adjust Visual 
Effects which you'll find in the Upper 
left corner. You'll see a surprising 
level of customisation options. If you 
choose "Adjust for best performance" 
you will have a perfectly optimised 
system that looks like Windows 98! 
You don't want that. Most likely the 
option selected by default would be 
"Let windows choose what's best for 
my computer". Like heck! You know 
better, right? Choose custom and keep 
a few items selected for a balance of 
look and performance. We recommend 
keeping the last option selected "Use 
visual Styles on windows and buttons". 

Tip: Clean up startup 

For quicker boot up time, type "msconfig" 
in the start search bar and move over to 
the Startup tab. Here you can deselect 
programs that you don't want to Launch 
in startup. You'U have a Lot of redundant 
ones for sure. ALso, remove redundant 
programs entireLy from ControL PaneL>Add 
remove programs. 

Page file tweaks 

A page file is virtual memory that almost 
all applications need to use. According to 
Microsoft "when the memory that is in use 
by all the existing processes exceeds the 
amount of available 
RAM, the operating 
system moves pages 
(4 KB pieces) of one 
or more virtual 
address spaces to 
the hard disk, thus 
freeing that RAM 
frame for other 
uses." So if you have 
a lot of RAM (say 
4GB) the depend- 
ence on page file 
reduces slightly, but 
for systems that are 
RAM deficient the 

Performance Options 

Visual Effects [Advanced Data Execution Pr evention | 

Select the sett for the appearance and 

O Let Windows or my computer 

Adjust for best appearance 
Adjust for best performance 

'...:■':: " ' 

. . ' ■. '.. " . ' : - " "" 

Animate windc nd maximizing 

Animations in the taskbar and Start Menu 
Fade or slide menus into view 
Fade or slide ToolTips into view 
Fade out menu items after clicking 
..... . .. ... 

Show shadows under windows 

:,.,. .'"..: '.::■.: :.'::'■ 

....... ......:: ... ; ... 

Slide open combo boxes 

Smooth edges of screen fonts 

Smooth-scroll list boxes 

Use drop sha* 

Use visual styles i iws and buttons 


dependence on the page file will increase. 
In most systems that have less of RAM, the 
hard disk space is comparatively less of a 
scarcity. In which case you can go ahead 
and keep a large page file. In theory, if you 
remove the dependence on virtual memory 
the system should become faster since 
read/write times for physical memory 
are much less compared to HDD read/ 
write times. But you will compromise on 
stability when a program goes into a crash 
cycle and need a dynamic memory dump 
in the form of virtual memory. To change 
Page File settings hit [Win] + [Pause | Break] 
key > Click on Advanced System Settings 
> Advanced Tab > Performance > Settings 
>Advanced Tab > Under Virtual Memory 
click change. Choose a custom max and 
min size in MB. This may be about 1.5 times 
your physical RAM. If you have two hard 
disk drives it is recommended to have 

another page file in the pri- 
mary partition of that drive. 


**W *r«* fr«* *t* 


Page file tweaking 

Task bar times 

Some users operate at the 
pace of the OS while some 
are actually slowed down 
by the OS. For instance, 
the half a second wait for 
popups to appear for task 
bar applications is a little too 
much. Don't like it? Then 
change it, we always say. 
l.Typeregedit in the 

Start Menu search. 

Press [Enter] 

2. Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ 
Software \Microsoft \Windows \Cur- 

3. Right-click and select Create a 
new DWORD (32 BIT). Name 
it ExtendedUIHoverTime 

4.Right-click the DWORD and modify 
time to 5 0. (value in milliseconds) 

Explorer to My Computer 

When we click on Windows Explorer in 
the task bar it opens in Libraries. This gets 
a bit annoying as we're used to starting 
off from My Computer. You can change 
this by typing "Windows Explorer" in 
Start Menu search, right-click on it and 
go to properties. In the Target field paste 
the following code "%SystemRoot%\ 
explorer.exe /e, : : {20D04FE0- 

Registry cleaning 

Using a registry cleaning software helps 
remove redundant entries and hence 
reduces start up time. There are many free 
system optimisation and maintenance 
programs out there (You can find many of 
these on our DVDs as well). For this illus- 
tration we'll use CCleaner. Once installed, 
run it and go to the registry tab. Click scan 
issues which will give you a list of prob- 
lems with the registry. Next tick issues 
you wish to fix and click Fix selected 
issues. It's always recommended to take 
a back up of the registry while doing so. 

Misc speed tips 

The superbar has combined launching 
applications with their task bar icons. This 
is a great improvement in terms of usability 
but many people still go to the start menu to 
launch an application. The reason for this is 
that if the application is already open it will 
simply open the window that's already run- 
ning. A simple trick can save a few seconds. 
You can start a new instance of a program 
by simply holding down the [Shift] 
key and clicking its icon in the task bar. 

Often we need to get under the hood 
by going into the command prompt. 
Simple tasks like changing the attributes 
of a file is just one example. In such cases 
navigating to a particular folder is a hassle 
you can avoid. Hold the [Shift] key 
and then right-click in any folder. You'll 
see new right-click options including 
"Open command window here." d 




Digit I December 2010 I 





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Speed up your life 


A\* V 




Ubuntu 10.10 

Got off on the wrong foot with Ubuntu? 
here's how you should have done it... 

Kshitij Sobti 

While multimedia play- 
back and gaming 
might not be Linux's 
strong suits, sheer 
productivity is something it excels 
at. However if you thought that you 
had reached the peak potential just 
by switching to Linux, you are dead 
wrong! Even once you have gone 
Ubuntu, there are many things that you 
can do that will speed up your work 
environment even more: 

5. Speed up window 

Those who switch from Windows often 
forget that Linux has brilliant inbuilt sup- 
port for virtual desktops. Virtual desktops 
let you segregate the work you are doing in 
virtual workspaces such that there is min- 

imal visual clutter. You can make segrega- 
tions based on whatever suits you best. 

Along with virtual desktops, you can 
use quick shortcuts to get to a task fast. 

Workspace Switcher Preferences 

O Show only the current workspace 

Show a 11 wo rk s pa ces i n: 1 1 


Number of workspaces: |4 

Workspace names: 
Workspace 1 
Workspace 2 
Workspace 3 
Workspace 4 

Show workspace names in switcher 


Right-click on the Virtual Desktop Pager 
near the bottom-right of screen and click 
on "Preferences". Change the number of 
workspaces to suit yourself 

For example, moving to the 
next / previous virtual desktop in 
Ubuntu 10.10 is achieved using the 

[Ctrl] + [Alt] + Right / Left 
keys. Additionally, you can move to 
the next / previous desktop taking 
the current windows with you by 
usingthe [Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Shift] + 
Right / Left key combinations. 

4. Optimise desktop effects 

Visual effects are not merely eye candy, 
they can be a huge help in helping us 



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You can change shortcuts for different 
tasks or create a new shortcut for a 
custom command from here 

visualise our tasks, and can help us 
work faster. For example, enabling the 
Desktop Wall effect allows you to see 
all your virtual desktops in one view, 
giving you quick overview of your 
active windows. This way you can 
quickly switch to an application on any 
desktop, and in this meta-desktop mode, 
you can move your windows around in 
your virtual spaces with greater ease. 

While such effects do increase 
your productivity, others such as 
wobbly windows, are purely for show, 
with little utility whatsoever. If you 
do not care for such visual effects, 
you can turn these off if you want. 

Some actions such as opening / 
closing, minimizing / maximizing 
windows, can be animated in Ubuntu. 
While this does give the appearance 
of a smoother and faster desktop, as 
something is always in motion, the 
animations themselves add pre- 
cious milliseconds / seconds to your 
application launch times. Instead 
of prolonged animation durations, 
you can make your system both 
appear faster, and work faster by 
reducing these animation durations. 

To change these settings and fully 
juice out your visual effects, you need to 
install the significantly more advanced 
Compiz configuration manager. It will let 




Digit I December 2010 I 



Technology news, views and analysis that get straight to the point. 
With Digital Consumer, every Monday, and ICE World, every Thursday. 

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To book your copy, call 1800-11-4300 (toll-free), SMS 'ORD' to 57007 or e-mail us at: 

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Speed up your life 


= If you have visual effects enabled, this feature can be accessed by pressing [Windows] + [E] 

your tweak these settings to your hearts 
content. You can install it by searching 
for "ccsm" in Ubuntu Software Center, 
and installing the "Advanced Desktop 
Effects Settings (ccsm)" package. 

3. Remove system bloat 

Bloat! In Linux! NO! We 
must be kidding! 

Fact is, bloat has nothing to do with 
your OS, you can load up applications to 

Startup Applications Preferences 

Startup Programs [Options] 

l_l Automatically remember running applications when logging oui 


the brimful, 
keep adding 
entries to your 
startup list, 
and end up 
slowing down 
your system 

Some of 
these applica- 
tions could be those that come prein- 
stalled with 

| H Remember Currently Running Application 

"System" Menu > Preferences > Startup Applications 

"" Animations 

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— Use This Plug In 

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Some exam- 
ples are 
and other 
tuOne is a 
great cloud 
storage isn't exactly bloat, but not 
everyone needs its extensive features, 
which add to its size and memory usage. 

2. Make session manage- 
ment faster with Ubuntu 

If you routinely find that every time 
you start your computer, you go 
about launching the same applica- 
tions that were running when you 
shut down, you can turn on a feature 
in Ubuntu that will do this automati- 
cally for you. Using the "Options" tab 
on the same dialog used in (3). 


Shut Down the Computer 

It might be a Little com plicated, but you can have extensive control over 
the timings using this setting dialog. 

Startup Pribram* Dp*it»m 

Additional startup programs. 

m *% Bluetooth Manager 

" Bluetooth Manager apple; 
_ Cartineale and Key Storage 

■© GNOME Keyring: PKCSitll Component 
Check Pororvi 
' Notify jb out r> 
Dbfc Kotlflcat 
Provides notifications related to disks 

•Ci lrr*djr mwnt not h-cd'ioni 

E Login Sound 

PlavS a sound whenever you log In 

^Settings Data Canvtt Han 

Migrates user settings NomGCortf to-dronr 

ConEi ol vow nstWDr k cann«Uora 

"System" Menu > Preferences > Startup 
Applications > "Options" Tab 

solution, howevre it is a waste 
of resources if you are not 
using it, or using an alternative 
such as Dropbox or SpiderOak. 
If you are not using the blue- 
tooth, or the social features of 
Ubuntu 10.10, turn them off! 

Another way to cut on bloat 
is to remove bloaty software. 
For example you can remove and install 
Abiword and Gnumeric 
instead if you. While OpenOf- 

Shut Down 

Ends your session and turns off the computer. 



Ends your session and restarts the computer, 


Suspends your session quickly, using minimal 
power while the computer stands by, 


>\ Suspends your session, using no power until the computer is restarted, 

You are currently logged in as "Kshitij Sobti". 

This system will be automatically shut down in 60 seconds. 



[Ctrl] + [Alt] + [Delete]: The same options can be 
exercised using the menu in the Indicator applet 



Digit I December 2010 I 




Or even better, why shut down 
your computer at all when you 
can suspend or hibernate it? Use 
these features generously as they 
will let you shut down and start up 
your computer nearly instantly 

Another thing you can do is turn 
on autologin for your account. Surely 
this is not advisable for everyone, 
however, those who are using their 
computer at home, in a single user 
environment, the boot process can 
be made just a little quicker if you 
don't have to type your password each 
time. Note that you do not need to 
remove your password entirely. Your 
password can still be used to lock 
your computer, during subsequent 
logins or while using "sudo", etc. 

1. Use your pendrive as 
swap to emulate Windows 

Windows has a nice fea- 
ture called ReadyBoost that 
allows your pendrive to be 
used as temporary swap 
space to boost the perform- 
ance of you computer. Since 
pendrives have lower access 
times than hard disks, using 
your pendrive as swap can 
boost your performance. 
For this you will need to 
use a ReadyBoost-capable 
pendrive. Many pendrives 
available in the market 
today tout this support so you 
should be able to find out if you 
have one. While this will work 
with any pendrive, ReadyBoost 
capable pendrives work best. 

There are two ways to do this. 
You can either use your entire 
pendrive as swap, or you can create 
a swap-file on your pendrive. We 
will assume you have mounted 
your pendrive at /media/disk 

You might need to login as 
superuser or use sudo for these 
commands. First create a swap 
file using the "dd" command (if 
is input file, of is output file, bs is 
block size, count is block count): 

dd if=/dev/zero of=/ 
media /disk/extraswap 
bs=lM count=1024 

This will create a 1024MB 
swap file on your pendrive. 

Now you need to 
format this as swap: 

mkswap /media/ 

Finally, we activate this swap- 
file to put it to use by typing: 

swapon -p 32767 / 
media /disk/extraswap 

Adding "-p 32767" gives this 
swap file the highest possible pri- 
ority ensuring that it is put to use. 

If you wanted to make your 
entire pendrive a swap drive, you 
can skip the first step, and simply 
use mkswap /dev/sdxl where sdxl is 
your pendrive device. In the last step 
you can again use this device instead 
of a file. Remember, this will destroy 
your data! It is better to create a large 
file instead, as the performance drop 
for not using the drive is not huge. 

Login Screen Settings 

When the computer starts up: 
_ ' Play login sound 

Show the screen For choosing who will log in 

[ Log inas | | Kshitij Sobti fxitij) ▼ | automatically 

U Allow '. seconds For anyone else to log in First 

Select | Ubuntu Desktop Edition 

▼ as deFault session 

| Unlock 


"System" Menu > Administration > Login Screen = 

To turn the pendrive swap off 
in order to unplug the drive, use: 

swapoff /media/ 

0. Compile your own 
Linux kernel 

Sooner or later you'll want to do 
the mother of all optimisations, a 
custom kernel compiled with your 
love. To get you started with this we 
have an entire article dedicated to 
the Linux kernel, and how to com- 
pile your own version. Turn over to 
page 135 in this issue for the article. 

Now with your lean and mean 
Ubuntu 10.10 install you can 
boost your work output, as long 
as you don't let your Facebook 
addiction stand in the way. El 


Digit I December 2010 I 49 



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Speed up your life 


| 'The B lackB erry Boys" 

1 Speed up your BlackBerry-ing with 25 simple tips 

Robert Sovereign- Smith 
editor@thinkdigit. com 

Although most BlackBerry 
(BB) users will praise 
their BBs to the high 
heavens, they will also 
secretly admit to being very frus- 
trated at times with the inexplicable 
slowdowns, hangs and overall weird 
behaviours that BBs seem prone to. 

We've thrown together a short list 
of tips and tweaks to help you get more 
out of your hardware, and yourself. 
The device we're using in our examples 
is the Curve 8520, which is probably 
the most popular BB out there today. 

Speed up the device 

1. Space has always been a problem 
with older BBs. Go to Options > 
Status, and see the amount of free 
memory. Typically, this should be 
at least 100 MB on modern Bbs, or 
at least 20 MB on older ones. It's 
displayed in bytes, so 100 MB is 
displayed as 102400000 bytes. 

2. If you find that you're running out 
of space, goto Options > Appli- 
cations, and look for third party 
applications that are no longer 
needed. Delete them. Also look for 
Add-ons, and delete the ones you 
don't need. Do not (and that's a big 
NOT) delete any core applications. 

3. For some reason, RIM sets Memory 
Cleaning in BBs to "Disabled", by 
default. Go to Options > Secu- 
rity Options > Advanced 
Security Options > Memory 
Cleaning, and change the Status to 
Enabled. Also set the Idle Timeout 
to 2 minutes. Also set the Show 
Icon on home Screen setting to Yes. 
You will now see this icon, and can 
manually click it to clean memory 
when the BB starts acting sluggish. 

4. Go to Options > Memory, 
and enable Compression. This 

may actually slow down a few 
things, like opening an attach- 
ment, but uses less memory, and 
results in a less sluggish phone. 

5. Not many people know that 
BBs keep an event log of almost 
everything - quite useless for 
most of us. To access this log, 
hold down [Alt] and type 
out [LGLG] . Press the menu 
button and select Clear Log. 

6. "Close. Seriously now, I mean 
CLOSE!" That's how you have to 
treat some apps in BBs. Instead 
of just navigating away from 
apps, press the [BB] button 
and select Close from the menu 
that pops up. This will prevent 
the app from just sitting in the 
background hogging memory. 

7. If you surf a lot on your BB, 
remember to periodically clear 
the browser cache. In the browser, 
press the BB button and select 
Options. Go to Cache Opera- 
tions and delete everything. 

8. If all else fails, the three finger 
salute is needed. Most people will 
just pull out the battery and put it 
back in, but this is not necessary. 
Just hold down [Alt] + (right) 

[Shift] + [Del] together. 

Speed up yourself 

It's important to know 
some BB shortcuts: 

9. [Alt] + [Back Arrow] = Appli- 
cation switcher - good for multi- 
taskers, and seeing what apps are 
running, so you can close them. 

10. [T] = Go to the top (of a page, 
a mail, almost anything) 

11. [ B ] = go to the bottom of the page 

12. [Space] = page down 

13. [Shift] + [Space] = page up 

14. Just hold down a letter for a 
second to capitalize it, instead of 
typing [Shift] + [Letter] 

15. When typing, auto-correct can 

be used to avoid using [ Alt ] 
+ [M] to get the fullstop. Just 
press [Space] twice instead. 

16. In the browser, when certain pages 
just don't display correctly, just 
press [ Z ] . Switches between 
column view and page view. 

17. [Alt] + [Shift] = Number 
lock. Good for typing numbers 
into an email or message. 

18. In Messages, you can quickly use 
some codes to see only what you 
need. [Alt] + [I] = incoming 
items only; [Alt] + [0] = 
outgoing; [Alt] + [P] = Phone 
Calls; [Alt] + [S] =SMSes. 

19. In Messages, again, use [U] 
to jump to oldest unread mes- 
sage. [N] = Next unread, 

[P] = Previous unread. 

20. Press and hold a letter such as 

[ E ] and then scroll up or down 
to see the various characters 
associated with that letter. For 
example, when typing "deja vu". 
No more boring Symbol menus. 

Secret codes 

Everyone knows * # 6 # to see their 
IMEI number, but BB has a few 
more tricks up their sleeves. Not 
very useful, these, but fun to try. 

21. Hold down [Alt] , and type 
[NMLL] . This changes the 
network indicator from bars 
to actual decibel values. 

22. Help Me! Hold [Alt] and 
[Shift] and press [H]. 

23. In the Address Book, hold [Alt] 
and type [VALD] . This validates 
your address book. You can also 
use the code [Alt] + [RBLD] to 
rebuild your entire address book. 

24. Want to view the source 
code of a web page? Hold 
[Alt] and type [RBVS] 

25. Add the date in a message [ L ] + 

[D] + [Space] ; Add current time 
= [L] + [T] + [Space] .H 




Digit I December 2010 I 




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Speed up your life 


^ttttlllU'"" 1 """'"!!!//,,,, 

ware phones 

Your old phone 
about to kick the 
bucket? Give it 
new Life 

Rudresh Jariwala 

Your old firmware phone 
giving you too much trouble? 
Tired of waiting for it to 
respond when you simply 
push a button? Well it's time to end 
these petty annoyances once and for all. 
Follow these tips and you will have your 
firmware phone running as good as new 

Update to the latest 

The first thing you must do is get your 
phone on to the latest version of the 
operating system. Many a time, this is 
something ignored by most and hence 
miss out on important updates such as 
optimisations in memory usage and 
management. Updating to the latest 
firmware is pretty much a seamless 
experience these days with the software 

Get Ready to 

Sync and update your phone regularly. 

suite that comes bundled on a CD with 
your phone. Don't have the CD? Even 
better! Download the latest version 
of the software suite from the phone 
manufacturer's site and install it on your 
computer. The update will involve you 
backing up your phone first, followed 
by the download and installation of the 
firmware operating system on your 
phone. Something else you must bear in 
mind when performing the update is to 
keep your phone battery charged because 
a dead battery in the middle of your 
update can spell disaster for your device 
rendering it into a useless paperweight. 

Delete what you don't need 

SMS: Yes, we all love to hold on to 
wonderful memories with our sig- 
nificant other by storing each and 
every "Gnite" message they send us. 
Grow up! Doing so is only adding to 
the redundant storage on your already 


We stumbled upon this interesting post 
on a forum and thought as absurd as it 
sounds, it's definitely worth a shot. It's a 
speed up trick that apparently works on 
Nokia S60 phones and the people that 
tried it swear by it, Here's the Link http:// try it out and Let us know 
how it went. 

under-capacity device. Instead, why not 
use the software suite for your phone to 
back up all your SMS messages (for- 
wards, romantic sonnets and all) on to 
your PC. This way you can keep your 
inbox free of clutter and keep it zippy! 

Useless applcations: Many firmware 
phones like the ones running the Nokia 
S60 operating system have the ability to 
install third party applications. These 
applications, though handy when you 
first installed them are now just sitting 
on your phone hogging unnecessary 
space. What's more, there is the pos- 
sibility that the applications will also 
slow down your startup time due to 
unnecessary calls to said applications. 
It's time to throw out all the junk. 

Memory card: Quick tip, if you are 
not using the full memory provided by 
your memory card, then replacing it 
with a smaller capacity memory card 
will reduce the time required for your 
phone to index the card's content and will 
speed up access time to the data on the 
card itself. Other than that, we recom- 
mend you either browse the contents of 
your memory card on your computer 
(using the cable or a memory card reader) 
or on the phone itself and browse the 
directories one by one to remove any 
old files you left on there that are just 
hogging unnecessary space. This could 
be ringtones, photos or bluetooth file 
transfers that you have accumulated 
over the lifespan of your device. 

Make it a habit 

The updating and cleaning up of your 
phone is something you must slot into 
your monthly agenda if you want to keep 
it running in optimal condition. It may 
be a tedious process the first time you 
do it, but thereafter it's a simple process 
that will probably take only a half hour of 
your precious time. So while the upgrade 
to your newest phone is still in the pipe- 
line, why not make your current phone's 
user experience an pleasant one? CJ 




Digit I December 2010 I 



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Speed up your life 



I Eke every byte out of your connection 

Getting a faster internet connec- 
tion always helps in boosting 
your download speeds, how- 
ever for those of us on slower 
connections, there is still some hope. 

Tweak your manager 

We'll use Free Download Manager 
(FDM) as our example. Go to Options 
> Network, set Traffic usage mode 
to Heavy Mode. Increase the maximum 
number of connections and maximum 
number of connections per server. Also 
increase the maximum number of mir- 
rors. Remember to tick the "Automati- 
cally search for mirror URLs" option. If 
you use Windows XP and Orbit Down- 
load manager, go to Tools > Pref- 
erences > Others and check the 
"Increase connection limit for Windows 
XP SP2". 


Speed up torrents 

Before you start downloading from the 
torrent network, check your maximum 
upload speed settings using online speed 
tests. Set your client's upload rate to 
about eighty per cent of your maximum 
upload speed. For utorrent Go to Pref- 
erences > Bandwidth and change 
the "Global Upload Rate". Use queuing 
and connection settings to download 
not more than two torrents at a time. 

Use browser extensions 

Using browser extensions for downloads 
certainly reduces your time. As you 
don't have to crunch through a number 
of steps before you start your down- 
loads. Use "Down Them All" for Firefox, 
its developers boast that it increases 
download speeds by 400 per cent, but 
we would not necessarily go that far. It 

does a pretty good job though. Sec- 
ondly, to grab any kind of media content 
currently playing in your browser use 
the "Download Helper" extension for 
Firefox to automatically catch it and 
download the file. Also try Download 
Master extension for Chrome. Acti- 
vating Grab++ option in Orbit Download 
Manager also catches any viral video 
or flash files playing in your browser. 

Download smartly 

If you are downloading a file at a peak 
time when there is a lot of traffic, then 
you might get inconsistent or slow 
speeds, for this try downloading the 
file at different times of the day. The 
lower number of people on the network 
will mean better speeds for you. This is 
especially important for system admins 
in offices, who should set downloads 
for the night, when the bandwidth is 
freed up. Use queuing to ensure that 
no more than 2 downloads are run- 
ning concurrently. Also clear your 
browser cache often, and help your PC 
get some much needed RAM back. EI 

Uncap your 
surfing speeds 

Uncap Windows 

Windows allots 20 per cent of the 
bandwidth by default for various 
services like Windows update and 
spyware checks. The trick is fairly 
simple to get hold of the unused 
bandwidth. Here's what you do Go to 
Start > Run and type gpedit .msc. 
Go to Administrative templates 
> Networks > QoS Packet 
Scheduler. Click on Limit Reserv- 
able Bandwidth and check the enabled 
box and then change the Bandwidth 
limit from 2 % to %. The screen shots 
above are the before and after results. 

Limit bandwidth 

To ensure that while browsing you 
get a fair amount of speed without 

disrupting your downloads, 
capping your bandwidth comes is 
handy. Developed to control and 
monitor internet traffic the Netlim- 
iter application limits your band- 
width. So for example let's say you 
want to download a software and 
play CS at the same time, but do not 
want your game to lag. The download 
speed you get is, say, 4 Mbps; limit 
it in a 2:2 ratio so that your movie 
download continues while you play 
CS without any breaks. This is what 
you do when you start your down- 
load, go to Netlimiter you'll see DL 
speed on top which would show 

you your current download speeds 
lets say for example you're getting 
300kbps change this to 150. Once 
you have changed the value you can 
start enjoying your game while the 
download happen in the background. 

SG TCP Optimiser 

A free application to enhance your 
Internet speed, weighing a mere 419 
KB the SG TCP optimizer takes into 
account only the necessary registry 
parameters and tweaks the overall 
speed making browsing lighter and 
faster than before. Just run the .exe 
file and follow the instructions. CI 




Digit I December 2010 I 






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Surfing faster 
than ever before 

= Siddharth Parwatay 

= siddharth.parwatay@thinkdigit. com 

= ^^ t's no secret that India is still light 
years behind when it comes to 
broadband speeds. We're pretty sure 

= ^L thousands of people reading this 

= are nodding their heads right about now. 

= There are large pockets where dial-up is 

= the law of the land; where some sites only 

= open after you've brewed a cup of tea. OK, 

= fine, maybe that's an exaggeration, but 

= you get the picture. Those of us who might 

= have the good fortune of having a 512 or 

= upwards line will be pretty smug about 

= this write up - "meh I don't need it". Oh, 

= but you do. Here we'll cover some tricks 

= and tweaks that will help you optimise 

= your browser for speed. 

= Network pipelining 

= This is a technique supported on HTTP 

= v.1.1 wherein multiple requests are sent 

= to a server. This option is usually turned 

: on in browsers such as Opera, but if not, 

= you can always do so. In Firefox type 

= about:config in the address bar. In the 

= filter type network.http.pipelining. Now 


M Injur - T *-.-.-^.- 


Tweaking connections to a server in Opera 

double-click on the first result to make 
the value True from False. Now that 
you have enabled Pipelining you can 
increase the server requests to up to 8. 

Tweak server requests 

Server requests can be tweaked as per 
your browsing habits and connection 
quality. If you usually browse pages 
that have lots and lots of small images 
such as, say, Facebook, you might want 
to increase the server requests so that 
many of those small elements start 
loading simultaneously. If you browse 



Q VouTu be Video Search 

Softonic EN 

T^Tcrrenti Search 










U Facebcok 

india, philips, co 

+ Bombay Electric 



Use an extension such as AdBLock PLus to — 

block unnecessary flash content such as = 

banner ads and save precious bandwidth = 

pages that are vertically lengthy such 
as image-based forums then you'd want 
at least some images to load completely 
first before the others start loading. In 
which case you can reduce the server 
requests. In Opera you can change 
requests from the default value of 16 
to whatever suits your usage scenario. 
If you are in the habit of opening lots 
of tabs at once at start up you can 
even increase the Max Total Con- 
nections. Find the option under the 
Network menu under Advanced Tab 
in Preferences [CTRL] + [F12] . 

Create smart searches 

One way of speeding up browsing is to 
get to what you're looking for quicker. 
Often from a search engine, there are 
only a couple of sites that we go to. You 
can program these into the address 
bar with an easily recallable key- 
word. For eg. typing wiki followed by 
"Barak Obama" will take you directly 
to the Wikipedia page on Obama. In 
Opera, right-click the text search box 
for which you want to create a smart 
search and click on Create Search. 
Give it a keyword you'll remember, 
click OK. In Chrome you can right 
click the address bar and go to "Edit 
search Engines...". Just remember to 
change the Keyword. For FireFox you 
can use an extension called Add to 
Search Bar 2.0 ( 

RSS feeds and mobile sites 

Who wouldn't want to browse the web 
in all its glory? But if you're hands are 
tied by a dial up or lets say a near dial up 
connection, you've got to make some com- 
promises. Instead of viewing news on 
one of those heavy news sites simply use 
an RSS feed reader like Google Reader. 
Besides, its more organised too right? If 
all else fails, you can always browse on 
the mobile optimised web site which is 
probably ten times lighter. In most cases 
you can append m at the beginning of the 
URL or use Google's Moblizer service 
( that 
optimises any web page for mobile. El 



Digit I December 2010 I 




(Task management 

I Speed up yourself 

Speed up your life 

= Rossi Fernandes 


= ^^ £F ost of our time is occupied 

= I % /I with completing tasks - 

= I % / be it office work, paying 

= ^L ▼ ^L the bills or scheduling 

= meetings. While some might feel that 

= technology is complicating things, 

= with a few essential sites and software, 

= it's possible to plot and plan out our 

= lives to be a little more organised. 

= Mind mapping - Blumind 

= Use mind mapping software such 

= as Blumind ( 

= bLumind) to help plot things out easily. 

= Simply create topics and attach a 

= subtopic to it. This could be a plan 

= for a project, or even a daily schedule 

= that you would like to follow. 

BLumind - Mind mapping made compact, 
simple and effortless 

Alarms / Reminders 

For urgent reminders, use apps such 
as Minute Timer on Windows - it pops 
up alerts and reminders. Stopwatch 
& Timer is just one example avail- 
able in the Android marketplace. 

Google Tasks 

An easy way to keep track of a 
To-do list is use Google Tasks. It's 
available on Gmail on the sidebar. 

A MinTimer - 28 min. remain 

Minute Tinner 1.1 Freeware 
Copyright (C) 2001 Jem E. Berkes 


Find more free tools and utilities at 
Delay, in minutes: 30 

Start If Pause ; Stop 

I - Auto-pause: timer runs only when window is minimized 

. : 

Timer running. 2 of 30 min elapsed, 28 min. remain 



Minute Timer is a great timer app to keep 
your tasks on track 

Accessing from 
your mobile phone will show up 
the list of tasks. There is also very 
good integration with Google Cal- 
endar which makes things seamless. 
Astrid, a free app for the Android 
platform sync local tasks with Google 
Tasks. Priorities and reminders 
for tasks can also be set using it. 

Make sure to try these tools, and let 
us know how much they helped you. Q 


More mileage Longer engine life Efficient clutch operation Improved gear durability 



Speed up your life 


,#, ^''*.HII.&««^ 

Symbian phones 

Get more from 
your Nokias 

Vinod Yalburgi 

If you are a Nokia fan, you'll be happy 
to hear that it's possible to eke out 
much more from your phone than 
you can at factory settings. 

Memory management 

The most common cause of slowdowns 
is the cell phone's internal and external 
memory being used up. You should always 
store large files, such as pictures and videos 
on the external memory, and not on the 
phone. In order to make it easy to manage 
your memory, you can use software that 
takes control of the JVM (Java Virtual 
Machine), smartly analyses the J2ME 
programs running in the background 
(including hidden programs) and automati- 
cally recovering and allocating memory 
to boost the overall system performance. 
You can download the 'Memory up' 
tool from 

The Symbian tool 

Here's a short explanation for the but- 
tons you will see when you start up the 
software, which you can get from http:// 

1) Jubble - Cleans registry, applica- 
tions, settings and cache memory. 

2) Sterilize (Jubble++) - Cleans reg- 
istry, applications, settings, index 
files, cache, maps, widget, personal 
folders, patches, thumbnails, dic- 
tionaries, demos, examples, down- 
loads, games, backup settings. 

3) Regkiller - quickly cleanup 
Symbian system registry and 
remove installed applications 

4) Thumbkiller - remove image 
thumbnails and index files 

5) Optimizer - remove registry invalid 
links, empty directories, etc. 

6) Quick defrag - optimise Sym- 
bian mass storage file system 

7) Quickbak: backup multimedia and 
personal files with a single-click 

8) Quickres: restore multimedia and 
personal files with a single-click 

9) Fullbak: take a backup image of the 

entire Symbian storage system 

10) Fullres: restore the backup image of 
the entire Symbian storage system 

11) Registry backup: take a backup 
of the entire Symbian registry 

12) Registry restore: Restore the 
entire Symbian registry 

13) Full Delete: permanently removes 
all traces of data and files from 
the Symbian storage system 

14) Symfix: it scans the Sym- 
bian file system and fixes 
errors in the file structure 

15) Juck: it allows you to safely 
disconnect the Symbian USB 
devices with a single-click 

16) Snoop: a detailed analysis tool 
15) Uninstaller: completely removes 

specified application software 

Symbian S60 Easter-egg 

If you're fed-up of third-party tools, 
you can try and tweak something 
yourself. The only pre-requisites you 
need are: a Nokia cellphone run- 
ning on Symbian S60 platform. 

Back in time 

• Set the phone's date to: 01.05.2005 

• Navigate to the Calendar applica- 
tion and create two new to-do's: 

•Go to Options > New 
entry > To-do 

• Now, set the following param- 
eters for each of these to-do's: 

i) To-do 

Subject: speed 

Due date: 04.08.2005 

Priority: High 

ii) To-do 

Subject: Quokie 

Due date: 04.08.2005 

Priority: Low 

• Confirm both the to-do notes 
with "Done". However, leave the 
calendar application open. 

• Then choose Options > To-do 
view, mark "speed" as done and 
then mark "Quokie" as done. 

• Now, close the calendar 
and revert the phone's date 
back to the present day. 

• That's it! You are ready to experience 
the performance boost on your Nokia 
cellphone. Although, the perform- 
ance gain might seem to be marginal, 
you should still feel the difference. EJ 




Digit I December 2010 I 




Speed up your life 

Your Android 

although new, even 
Android needs some 

Rossi Fernandes 

We're all excited about 
Android but unfor- 
tunately, not all the 
Android devices are 
powered by blazing quick hardware. 
This means that it only makes sense to 
tweak and push the existing hardware 
to its limits. Here a quick tutorial on 
how to overclock your Android phone. 

Rooting first 

Rooting an Android device is useful for 
a number of reasons. For overclocking 
specifically you'll need to root your 

Androot makes 
rooting a phone a 
single-click task 

phone. Use a 
software such 
as Androot or 
1-Click root to 
root the phone. 
set the phone 
to be per- 
manently rooted, so settings don't 
change when you reset the phone 

Overclocking the phone 

An app called SetCPU (http://bit. 
Ly/9Fxzog) will let you overclock the 
processor. Overclocking the phone 
takes place in more or less the same 
way as you would a desktop PC. Once 

you have SetCPU downloaded and 
installed, start it. You'll be prompted 
to allow it superuser access. In the 
next step, SetCPU can autodetect your 
processor speed. You can choose your 
phone model manually as well. 

In some cases, you won't be 
allowed to overclock. To add over- 
clock speeds, create a text file in your 
SD card called setcpu.txt. Type in 
manual speeds that you would like 
to overclock to. eg. 250000,500000, 

The next time SetCPU starts, you 
can choose to access presets from 
a file. You can then use SetCPU to 
switch to higher clock speeds. 

Testing the overclock 

Linpack (http://bit.Ly/a2uHmu) is a free 
benchmarking tool which can be used 
to gauge the performance benefits of 
overclocking. After every overclock, 
check to see the performance benefits. 
Over time, also watch the effect of the 
overclock on your battery life - it's 
obvious that battery life will go down, 
but try and find the right balance. CI 


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^tt«««"»»'»»"»««//// /// 

lYour PC 

{without over clocking 

I It's easy to overclock, but not everyone can. 

Rossi Fernandes 

Wouldn't it be great if you 
could speed up your 
PC without having to 
overclock your hard- 
ware, and risk damaging it all? With a 
few tweaks in the motherboard BIOS, you 
can speed up boot times as well as overall 
system performance. BIOS settings are 
easy to change, but the naming conven- 
tions used in them may vary from one 
board manufacturer to another. To boot 
into your BIOS, press [Delete], [Fl] or 
[ F2 ] keys on your keyboard while the PC 
boots. Once you've made the changes, save 
the BIOS settings and reboot. 

Note: In case of any problems with 
booting the system after changing set- 
tings, you can clear the CMOS settings 
by switching jumper positions on your 
motherboard or by pressing a reset CMOS 

switch. Refer to the motherboard manual 
for the position of this switch or jumper. 

CPU and memory 

Most modern motherboards are designed 
to slow down CPUs to keep temperatures 
in control and also to optimise power 
consumption. Use the CPU configuration 
menu and set the CPU multiplier and 
board bus speed as stated by the manu- 
facturer. Be sure to enter accurate values. 
Any mistakes here, would overclock or 
underclock the processor. For example, a 
Core i7 965 runs at 3200 MHz (24 x 133). 
Similarly, in the memory configuration 
menu, set the memory speed and tim- 
ings as per the specifications. If timings 
aren't available, set just the speed. 

Disable CPU throttling 

Features like EIST (better known as 
SpeedStep) from Intel and Cool 'ri Quiet 
from AMD are designed to lower speeds 

when the processor isn't in use. If you 
want the maximum possible perform- 
ance all the time, turn off these features 
under the Advanced Settings option 
in the BIOS. Just keep in mind that the 
processor might run hotter than usual. 

Boot orders 

Selecting the right boot order of drives 
reduces boot times by a few seconds. 
Make sure you have no USB devices 
when you are booting your system. An 
option to disable USB boot devices is 
also present. Set the bootable hard drive 
to be the first drive to boot. Remember 
that you will have to set your CD/DVD 
drive as bootable if you want to install 
an operating system. Your primary boot 
drive should always be the drive to boot. 

Enable Quick Boot 

The Quick Boot feature boots the system 
without any of the splash screens from 
your motherboard appearing. Similarly, 
also disable any RAID controllers and 
network boot options. This saves a 
couple of seconds during the bootup. 

Auto-detection of IDE drives 

If you are still using IDE devices, the 
board by default, detects all the drives 
during bootup. There are a few valu- 
able seconds that can be saved here. 
Boot into the BIOS and select the drive 
channels the drives are connected to, 
and manually enter the details for them. 
Disable the auto detection feature. 

Integrated graphics memory 

Motherboards with integrated graphics 
chipsets require a decent amount of 
memory to perform well. At the same time, 
too much memory should not be allotted 
to it. 128MB to 256MB should be sufficient 
for most integrated graphics. This would 
reduce the amount of system memory 
your operating system has. If you use 
a discrete graphics solution, disable the 
allocated memory completely if possible. 

Boot loader timings 

If you have two or more operating systems 
installed, you are bound to have a boot 
loader installed. The boot loader window 
appears on screen for 10 seconds by 
default. Set the operating system you use 
most as default, and reduce this time. El 




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Speed up your life 


Rossi Fernandes 

System performance is eve- 
rything, and no one is ever 
content with what they have. For 
desktops especially gaming has 
always been the driving force. In most 
cases, upgrades are necessary, but do 
you absolutely need to upgrade all the 
components in your PC? 

Do you need to upgrade? 

Most desktop users using their PC 
for office applications, browsing and 
email don't absolutely need a faster PC. 
Most of the time, fragmented drives, 
bloated software and malicious soft- 

that is capable of performing much 
better, but is limited due to another 
slower components. Gamers commonly 
like to upgrade all PC components at 
once. Graphics cards are often bot- 
tlenecked by slower processors (for 
example, if you use a five-year old 
processor and a fast Radeon 5970). 
There are certain games which are 
more CPU dependent while some 
others depend more on the GPU. 
If you play only those few specific 
games, then just a simple graphics 
card upgrade should be sufficient. 

Similarly, if you use an old 5400 
rpm IDE drive on a modern system, 
you're likely to see a big drop in read and 
write performance, which inadvertently 


ware bog down the the entire system. 
Upgrades will speed up your PC, but 
the benefits you'll notice will be just 
a second or two during load times or 
processing. Upgrades are recommended 
every two to three years at least. 

What are the components to 

The processor, motherboard and RAM 
are components that are interdependent 
on each other. Very few people upgrade 
processors every few months. In fact, 
it's done every alternate year or so. A 
processor upgrade usually means a 
motherboard and memory upgrade 
as well. For example,if you've been 
using a Intel Core 2 Duo so far, you're 
very likely to upgrade to a Core i5 or 
i7, and a corresponding motherboard 
along with the DDR3 memory. Power 
supply and cabinets in comparison 
don't need to be upgraded very often, 
unless of course you upgrade to a 
really power hungry graphics card. 

Bottlenecks - what are they? 

Bottlenecks in PC hardware occur when 
you upgrade a particular component 

will affect real-time PC performance. 

Does adding a graphics 
card on an old system make 

Many graphics card manufacturers 
claim that adding a graphics card 
can speed up performance. It's partly 
true, but it's only possible on cer- 
tain applications and the perform- 
ance benefits are often negligible. 

Should I upgrade to an SSD? 

SSD (solid state drives) come in dif- 
ferent sizes and speeds. The cheapest 
of SSDs are still several times more 
expensive than standard hard drives. 
The read speeds of most SSDs are 

Upgrading to SSD might not always mean 
much higher disc transfer speeds 

the same or slightly better than hard 
drives but the write speeds aren't still 
much better. If you're thinking value 
for money, they aren't the ideal choice. 
Now isn't the time to upgrade to one. 

More than 4 GB RAM make 

Most 32-bit operating systems 
can only utilise around 3.25 GB 
of memory. 4 GB these days is the 
sweet spot when it comes to memory. 
Any more, and you should upgrade 
to a 64 -bit operating system. Most 
memory intensive games will only 
use around 1.5 to 2 GB of memory. 

More core vs more speed? 

A minimum of two or three cores per 
processor is always desirable for per- 
formance. In applications that can fully 
utilize all cores on a processor, more 
cores makes more sense. At present, 3d 
modeling and rendering software are 


So is your system isn't fast enough for 
games? Look up the OvercLocking your CPU 
and GPU stories in this issue, and also the 
OvercLocking Guide in the November 2010 
of Digit. 

applications which can do this well. 
Most games do not use all cores fully. 
A faster core speed processor is often 
better performing in games. For example 
in some games, a 2-core processor at 
3.2GHz is more likely to perform faster 
than a 2.4 GHz quad core. If you're just 





y> .; 

|s : 

3d modelling software are optimized to 
use cores to the fullest 

using a single core processor, then its 
recommended that you upgrade to at 
least a three or four core one. For basic 
desktop applications, a simple dual 
core is still good enough. At the same 
time, a really slow core speed six-core 
processor isn't much good either. EJ 



Digit I December 2010 I 




Speed up your life 

\ Rudreshjariwala 


Google Calendar (aka "GCal") as 
you may already know is a free 
web-based time management 
utility available from Google. 
\ Rather than having all your tasks planned 
\ out in Excel, do the same planning on 
\ Google Spreadsheets and you'll be able to 
\ share all your developments, with your 
\ team, on the go. With tas ks, you're not too 
; far from schedules. As hard as we try not 
\ to, that's the part we all hate. Whether you 
; manage a team, or are accountable for spe- 
\ cine responsibilities yourself, you can syn- 
\ chronise your tasks and deadlines that you 

Team M anagement 

Use GCal to speed up your tasks 

have set in your spreadsheet and jot down 
tasks in your Gmail inbox with your GCal. 

This way you can set reminders to 
inform not just yourself, but also your 
team members about upcoming tasks, 
targets, deadlines or events and ensure 
that your plan doesn't clash with others 
in your team. For example, if you plan to 
conduct a meeting to discuss the tar- 
gets for the month, you can avoid doing 
that if there is a festival, or if prominent 
members of your team are on leave. Also, 
team members can specify the days 
they are on leave, so that critical team 
meetings can be planned accordingly. 

As is the case with most Google 
offerings, you'll need a Gmail account 
to access GCal to its true potential. 


Events creation in GCal is pretty straight- 
forward with the clickable items on the top 
left of your screen. A quick add (keyboard 
shortcut q) will show a dialog box where 
you can enter your event in simple text 

with the date and time in free flow text. 
The engine is smart enough to detect 
dates and time and automatically creates E 
your event in the desired date and time. 
If the time is not specified, the event is 
created as an all day event. This is a great E 
feature especially when clubbed with SMS E 
reminders (see Settings>Calendar 
Settings). All you need to do is validate E 
your mobile number and then any event E 
you add will be sent as an SMS reminder E 
to you at the required time. Nifty eh? 

Explore | 

There are countless other possibilities of E 
using GCal to improve your productivity E 
and features. One possibility is to have 
a simple dedicated Wordpress-based 
blog that lets your team share events and E 
comments, and yet stay synchronised 
using Google Calendar! Don't be afraid 
to explore the myriad host of features 
that are made possible using Google 
Calendar since the topics covered here 
are merely the tip of the iceberg. El 


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Speed up your life 


Michael Browne 

Whether you're running 
OS X 10.5 or the much 
faster Snow Leopard 
OS X 10.6, there's quite 
a bit you can do to further speed up your 
OS X-based systems. This is especially 
for those people whose Mac Books and 
IMacs have become slower over time. 
Many of these tricks will garner a lot 
of speed out of older Macs, especially 
Panther and Leopard, although smaller 
speed benefits under Snow Leopard will 
also be noticed. 

Disable dashboard widgets 

While widgets are fun, and a funky way 
to attain information at a button press, 



even performance. Any manually run 
applications should also open faster. 
You simply remove all extra menus 
like the display menu, iChat menu and 
so on. Also remove extra icons from 
the dock. Although this is a small tip, 
it does help improve performance on 
older Macs, and will help reduce boot 

Speed up your Mac 

Simple tricks for those who 
appreciate simplicity 

-*" ~ y ~ •* 

.... , 

each dashboard widget you enable, 
consumes both processing power and 
valuable memory. To disable widgets 
and speed up OS X you need to: open up located in Applications > 
Utilities > Terminal. Alternatively you 
can enter "Terminal" in spotlight to 
open it. Select, then copy/paste the fol- 
lowing into the terminal and hit Enter: 
<defaults write 
mcx-disabled -boolean YES> (without 
cascades). Then type the following: 
<killall Dock>. Hit Enter again, and your 
Dashboard widgets are now disabled. 

Here's a simple one 

This will speed up your boot time and 

time on any OS X-based system. 

This one is even simpler 

If you're the type that has a 
mess of files on your desktop, 
simply organising them and 
putting them into folders makes 
a huge difference. Since OS X 
has a visually rich interface 
and this implies to desktop 
icons as well, simply putting 
them into appropriate folders will 
do wonders, particularly for older 
Mac systems and particularly those 
with less than 2 GB of memory. 


This involves checking permissions for 
files and folders on a Mac partition and 
comparing them against a correct list, 

and correcting discrepan- 
cies if any. Run Disk Util 
from Spotlight, or under 
Applications > Utilities > 
Disk Utility. Navigate to 
the necessary volume and 
simply run Verify Disk Per- 
missions and Repair Disk 
Permissions (in that order). 

Clear caches 

Although this is less 
of a problem on Snow Leopard, one 
of the common slow downs in Mac 
systems is caused by temporary files, 
particularly user font and font caches, 
and overflowing system files. A simple 
terminal command will flush the cache, 
clearing this waste out. Access the 
terminal by entering it in the spotlight 
window, or navigating to Applica- 
tions -> Utilities -> Terminal. Once 
here, enter this command <sudo atsutil 
databases -remove> 

Removing Languages 

Another task you can undertake that 
will add a bit of speed, while freeing up 
a lot of hard drive space is removing 
languages you do not use, and archi- 
tecture-specific binary code that is 
built into OS X to support previous 
architectures like PowerPC G3, G4, G5 
etc. If you are on an Intel-based Mac, 
these are of no use to you. Additionally 
removing extra language options from 
the Input Menu will also free up quite 
a bit of space. The easiest way to do this 
is to use software called Monolingual, 
available for download at http://mono- There are 
three separate tabs, and you'll need to 
select all the stuff you want to remove 
under each tab and click "remove". The 
tabs are Languages, Input Menu and 
Architectures. We saved a total of 2660 
megabytes by running Monolingual, and 
you need to run it only once, and never 
again, unless you reinstall OS X.. H 

ft Terminal Shell Edit Vi 

Irtdow Help 

Last Login: Fri Nov 12 15:41:09 on ttysBBQ 

michaeL-brownes-macbook-pro:~ michaelbrowne$ atsutil databases -remove 

You must run as root, use sudo in order to remove system user databases 

Remov i ng : /pr i vate/ var/f o L ders/k I /k I UBy <++++T I /-Caches-/com . app L e . FontReg i stry 

michaeL-brownes-macbook-pro:~ michaelbrowne$ sudo atsutil databases -remove 

Removing : /pri vate/var/f o Lders/zz/zzzivhrRnAmviuee++++ME+++42/-Caches-/5ystem 

Remov i ng : /pr i vate/var/f o L ders/k I /k I UBy :<++++T I /-Caches-/com . app L e . FontReg i stry 

michaeL-brownes-macbook-pro:~ michaelbrowne$ | 


Term ■ 



Digit I December 2010 I 




Speed up your life 


= //////// '""////, (ll , l „ lll uumv^^ 

= Nash David 


= VII hese days anything Google 
is synonymous with the web 
in the same way that Gmail 
= ^L. is email as we now know it. 

= Debates and responses could go on, but 

= why waste time. Let's get our work done, 

= and let's get it done fast! There's more to 

= Gmail than the regular search bar. 

= What's wrong with the con- 

= nection? 

= If you're stuck with a slow connec- 

= tion and realise that most of your time 

= goes refreshing your browser before 

= you get to see your inbox, a nifty Lab 

= feature called Inbox Preview will 

= bail you out. Although it wouldn't 

= make your Gmail any faster, it would 

= certainly let you know whether you 

= have any new email before you access 

= your inbox. That means a lot in peak 

= traffic, low bandwidth scenarios. 

| Keyboard shortcuts 

= Yeah, Gmail's keyboard shortcuts are an 

= often ignored feature that could save you 

= significant amounts time doing those 

= same mundane tasks in your inbox. 

= To enable keyboard shortcuts, go to 

: Settings>General and turn Key- 


Google Gmai 

Blaze through 
your daily Gmail 

board shortcuts on. To see a complete 
list of keyboard shortcuts just hit the ? 
on your keyboard. You no longer need 
to click on compose, just hit [C]. You can 
access the previous and next messages by 
pressing [P] and [N], respectively. There 
are shortcuts for more tasks than you 
would normally use. So go ahead and 
explore this Gmail feature to the fullest. 

Mouse gestures 

Go to Settings>Labs, enable Mouse 
Gestures. If you're comfortable with 
mouse gestures in Opera, then you'll 
find Gmail's mouse gestures quite 
familiar. Hold the right button of the 
mouse and drag to the right to move 
to the next message. Similarly, drag 
to the left to go to the previous mes- 
sage. If you are in a message, then 
drag up and left to go to the inbox. 

Gmail straight to your 

If you're a Firefox user, you can use 
"Gmail Manager" plugin to speed up 
access to your Gmail. Install this add-on 
and you get a notification in the bottom 
tray with the number of unread mes- 
sages, and quick shortcuts to Compose. 
The same goes for Chrome with their 
"Google Mail Checker Plus" extension. 

Clean up clutter 

Most of the time, we end up deleting 
spam, or archiving repetitive email that 
we may need sometime in the future. 
Gmail lets you automate several tasks 


at once. You could use Gmail's effective E 
filters to segregate your email into the 
right folders (labels in Gmail). This way, E 
you could do away with the usual clutter E 
you would normally have wasted a sig- E 
nificant percentage of your time reading E 
through. If you know the sender, just go E 
to Settings>Filters, click on Create E 
a new filter. You can sort email 
according to the sender, recipient, sub- E 
ject, or body. Enter the criteria relevant E 
to your need. You can test the results 
if you want to. Click Next and select 
the action. You can delete unwanted 
email or archive necessary but repeti- 
tive email, in addition to other actions. 

Use Labels | 

Another useful feature with Gmail is 
Labels. Unlike Folders in most email cli- E 
ents, you can have an email appearing in E 
multiple locations. This comes in handy E 
to fetch your email when you require it E 
the most. For example if you're planning E 
a new PC configuration and have several E 
conversations going on with 3 vendors, E 
you could label the relevant email with E 
the vendor's name as well as a name for E 
the PC configuration, say Star Computers E 
and Gaming PC. Similarly, you can have E 
Bombay Electronics and Gaming PC, 
and so on. This way, whenever you want E 
to relook at the quotes, you can click 
on Gaming PC to get all conversations 
related to your PC. If all you remember E 
is one of the vendors, you can click on 
the Label and you will see email labelled E 
with the vendor name and the other 
labels applied to the same conversation. E 
Select that label to view all the conver- 
sations you ever had on this topic. H 








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Speed up your life 


Nimish Sawant 

Overclocking is a process which 
allows you to make your 
processor run at a faster clock 
rate than what it is rated at, 
so that you can derive more performance 
out of your processor at no extra cost. 

Overclocking does come with its 
share of risks as you are making it run 
at a faster speed. If done with patience 
and care, overclocking can boost your 
system's performance quite a bit, for free. 
Also, nowadays most of the processors 
come with lots of fail safes. For instance, 
if you have overclocked your system 
beyond its threshold, then it will throw 
up errors or hang or cause artefacts to 
appear in your games. These are signs 
that you should pay attention to and 
reduce the processor clock speeds. 

While overclocking you need to keep 
four things in mind - the base clock speed, 

will refrain from repeating what was 
already said. In fact, we thought of 
making this article more practical 
and overclocked an Intel processor. 
So this is a step-by-step guide to it. 

Overclocking Intel Core \7- 


After setting the rig, we enter the BIOS 
by pressing Del. As we are using the MSI 
P55 motherboard, we will have to enter 
the Cell Menu to tweak the processor 
settings. For ASUS Motherboards you 
will have to enter Ai Tweaker and so on. 

We disable the Turbo Boost, as we 
do not want the processor to overclock 
on its own, as it will not give us a clear 
idea of the performance jump we can 
expect. Similarly SpeedStep (EIST) 
was also disabled as it is not really 
needed for overclocking. The Base 
Clock (BCLK) in our case was 133 MHz 
and Multiplier was 22x. The RAM 

your processor 

1 Stretching your 

| system perform- 

| ance for free 

= the multiplier, the latency timings and the 

= temperature. Base clock speed is the speed 

= at which the processor runs and when 

= multiplied with the multiplier, will give 

= you the core clock speed of the processor. 

To read a detailed article on the 

= process, we would like you all to read 

= the Overclocking Guide we had 

= published in November 2010 (also 

= found here http://bit.Ly/bOXYMw). We 

Processor: Intel Core \7 875K @ 2.93 GHz 

Memory: Corsair XMS 2x2GB DDR3 @ 


Motherboard: MSI P55A GD65 

Graphic Card: PaLit GTX 460 

Power Supply: Corsair HX620W 

Monitor: Viewsonic VX2250mw 

Hard Disk: WD Velociraptor 300GB 

timings were set to 7-7-7-20 for the 
2x2GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 memory. 

Step 2 

As we were just doing basic overclock- 
ing, using only stock components, we did 
not touch the voltages. We started with 
increasing the multiplier count from 
22x to 23x, which pushed the processor 
frequency to 3.06 GHz. We saved these 
settings by pressing FIO. On rebooting the 
system, we checked all the temperatures 
in the idle state as well as on load. We ran 
a few benchmarks. At no point did we 
notice any crashing or blue screen. The 
system was certified stable at 3.06 GHz. 

|» | 

i-:e c:r*i7&:5H 

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"3 c™»~ 

Overclocked status 

Step 3 

We repeated Step 2 and this time 
increased the multiplier to 24x. This 
process continued, till we reached a point 
where increasing the multiplier beyond 
26x resulted in a unstable system. So on 
the next reboot, we reduced the multiplier 
to the last stable setting and started 
playing with the base clock frequency. For 
the purpose of this article, we stretched 
the core clock to 3.53 GHz and ran all the 
benchmarks at this frequency. The table 
below will give you an idea of the readings 

Step 4 

Be sure to keep a tab on the temperatures. 
It should not overheat at any point of time, 
as the transistors working at faster clock 
speeds will generate more heat than at 
stock speeds. 

Finally, just mere overclocking is 
not enough. The system should run 
comfortably at the overclocked settings. 
Only then can it be called a successful 

As you see we got quite a performance 
boost not just with games, but with pro- 
ductivity tasks like rendering, encoding, 
etc. So what are you waiting for? 

Remember, you can even overclock a 
multiplier locked processor by tweaking 
the base clock frequency. But remember 
that running a stable system is more 
important than extreme overclocking. CI 


Stock Speed 
(2.93 GHz) 

(3.53 GHz) 

Cinebench RIO (multiple CPU) 



Unigine Heaven 2.0 

35 fps 

37.8 fps 

DixX Encoding (100 MB V0B to DivX conversion) 

32 seconds 

23 seconds 

Doom 3 

310 fps 

367.4 fps 

Resident Evil 5 

99 fps 

103 fps 



Digit I December 2010 I 




Speeding the system 

Speed up your life 

! Optimise your system for gaming 
1 without overclocking CPU or GPU 

E Nimish Sawant 

E nimish.sawant@thinkdigit. com 

E ^^^^ aming performance is 
E m improved by overclocking 

= 1 "T the CPU and the GPU, but 
E ^^^^1 there are a few other things 
E that you can and should do to get more 
E boost out of your gaming system. 
= Sometime making some changes 
= to the system before tweaking the 
= in-game settings can go a long way in 
E improving your system for gaming. 

| Driver Updates 

E Driver updates are critical to gaming 
E performance for the simple reason that 
E new features and bug fixes are intro- 
E duced in them. So if you have a card 
E that is running on driver that probably 
E was installed a year ago, it is running 
E at 10-20 per cent slower than normal. 

| Patches 

E Visit the game publishers website in 
E case you are facing a problem which 
E is known. There could be a patch or 
E hot-fix for that problem which can solve 
E the problem and improve your gaming 
= speeds. 

| Game Booster 

E As the name suggests this is one nifty 
E software that every gamer should have 
E on their PC. It is a free-to-use software 
= ( Game Booster opti- 
E mises your system for gaming by disa- 
E bling various services temporarily that 
= can affect gaming performance. There 
= are other options in Game Booster like 
= Game Drivers, which checks for latest 
= updates of your graphic card, sound 
= and network drivers. Having the latest 
= driver is critical to gaming perform- 
E ance. Then there is Game Defrag menu 
= which will defrag your gaming direc- 
E tories, so that games load faster. Game 
= Tools has features that can be custom- 
= ised by the user such as mouse settings, 

power settings, controller settings, etc. 

Adjusting your system for 
Best Performance 

As you are looking at better perform- 
ance in gaming and all your graphic 
details are being taken care of by the 
GPU, you should set your system for 
best performance by following the steps 

Click Start, right- 
click Computer, 
click Properties, 
and then click 
Advanced system 

On the Advanced 
tab, click Settings 
under Perform- 

On the Visual 
Effects tab, click 
Adjust for best 
performance, and 
then click OK. 
Click OK to close 
the System Prop- 
erties dialog box. 
Test your game. User interface of Game 

Changing Game Settings 
Lowering the shadow detail 

This can have a huge impact on improv- 
ing your gaming performance as it uses 
a lot of your processing power. 

Disable V-Sync 

V-Sync if enabled, prevents the next 
frame from being displayed unless the 
present one has been fully rendered. 
This is not desirable in games that 
require fast responses. 

Disabling Gaming details 

Many games give you the option to 
improve details like dynamic lighting, 
water ripples, etc., for giving you a 
richer gaming experience. While it all 
sounds good, it does use up your cards 

processing power. So unless you have a E 
very fast or high spec card, it is best to E 
keep these fine adjustments disabled. 

Disable Anti-aliasing (AA) 

Anti-aliasing is a process which helps E 
in smoothening the jagged edges. For 
instance, while gaming we come across E 
lots of sharp objects which look pixel- E 
lated at the edges such as leaves, wires, E 
etc which is called aliasing. So anti- 
aliasing will try to work on those pixels E 
on the edge to give you smooth edges 


and better image quality. But this will 
reduce the performance of your graphic 
card to some extent. So unless you 
have a very powerful graphic card, it is 
pointless to crank up the anti-aliasing 
filter to an extent where your gameplay 
is affected. 

Disable Anisotropic Filtering (AF) 

After anti-aliasing, you will come 
across this term - Anisotropic filter- 
ing (AF) - a lot in your game settings 
menu. Anisotropic filtering tries to 
enhance the sharpness and clarity 
of textured object. Textured objects 
consist of different types of data such 
as colour, transparency, among others. 
It is best to keep it disabled unless you 
have a powerful graphics solution. EH 



Digit I December 2010 I 




Speed up your life 


Nimish Sawant 

After having seen how you can 
overclock your processor to 
make it run at a frequency 
higher than the stock fre- 
quency we will try to look at how you can 
overclock your graphics processing unit. 

Graphic cards have two main 
parameters namely: core clock and 
memory clock. Core clock is the speed at 
which the graphics processor in the card 
operates. Memory clock is the speed at 
which data is transferred between the 
processor unit and the VRAM - the 
graphics memory. Memory clock along 
with the memory bus determines the 
memory bandwidth of a card. Higher 
memory bandwidth means you can crank 
up the anti-aliasing and anisotropic 
niters. Overclocking the GPU involves 
playing around with the clock speeds 
of the core clock and memory clock. 

card's waranty as you are trying to make 
the card work at a setting which is higher 
than what you were offered. Overclocking 
is a risky sport and may end up harming 
your graphics card if not done with care. 
The main reason why manufacturers 
rate the card at lesser their maximum 
performance limits is to allow 
the card to work under the 
worst possible conditions stably. 

There are two ways to go 
about overclocking your GPU: 
by using software utilities 
or by flashing the BIOS. We 
would suggest you try over- 
clocking by using software 
utilities as it is a completely reversible 
process, unlike flashing the BIOS which 
is a bit complicated and should not be 
attempted without determining the 
card's threshold using software utilities. 

RivaTuner, ATI Tray Tools, MSI 
Afterburner are the software utilities 
that allow you to overclock your GPU. 

Software utilities 
for overclocking 
Graphic cards 


MSI Afterburner 

ATI Tray Too Is 



your GPU 

| Want higher 
| frame rates at no 
| extra cost? Read 
= on to find out how 

Unlike processors, graphic cards, 
although manufactured by giants like 
NVIDIA and ATI, are sold by third party 
resellers. Many resellers like XFX, Zotac, 
etc, play around with the clock settings 
to make their products stand out. So, 
although there may be reference set- 
tings for a particular GPU, you will find 
various flavours in the form of different 
video RAMs, different clock speeds, etc. 

We will take a look at how you can 
overclock your GPU from its stock clock 
speeds to extract more performance out 
of it. Coming back to the limitations part 
that we spoke of earlier, there are certain 
things we would like to state at the outset. 
Overclocking will void your graphic 

MSI Afterburner showing the sliders for the clock 
speeds. Card used : Palit GeForce GTX 460 

RivaTuner works with both NVIDIA 
and ATI cards whereas ATI Tray Tools 
works with ATI cards. All card manu- 
facturers also come out with their own 
software CDs which have utilities for 
overclocking like Catalyst (for ATI 
cards) and nTune (for NVIDIA cards). 

Start off by installing the utilities 
on your system. We are using the MSI 

Afterburner. In the NVIDIA cards you 
have an option to slide the core clock, 
shader clock and the memory clock. In 
an ATI card you can only adjust core 
clock and memory clock. In both the 
cards, one can also adjust the fan speed. 
Keeping the temperatures under check is 
important as overclocking will 
lead to a rise in temperature. 
So in order to crank up your 
clock settings, your tempera- 
ture needs to be under check. 
First move the core clock 
slider on the right hand side 
in small increments of 10 
MHz each and stress test the 
system. This can be done by running 
benchmarks like your favourite games 
or synthetic benchmarks like 3D Mark 
Vantage, etc. Keep doing this till you 
reach a value where the stress test either 
crashes or shows some unwanted colours 
or artifacts or the system simply does 
not boot up. Try reducing the core clock 
and then start increasing the memory 
clock in increments of upto 20 MHz. 

Repeat the process that you did 
previously till you reach a level beyond 
which you start facing any problems. 
Perform all your stress tests again 
and get readings and see the improve- 
ment in your card's performance. 

Now note that since you are 
overclocking your card using 
a software utility, unless you 
save the overclocked Core and 
Memory clock, the card will 
start from the stock speeds 
when you restart your system. 
MSI Afterburner and so do 
other utilities allow you to save 
your clock speeds in the form of 
profiles. So next time when you 
restart your system, all you have 
to do is go in the software utility 
and enable your preset profile. 

This is the basic way to 
overclock your GPU. There 
are advanced ways to get even more 
performance out of your GPU by 
using external cooling solutions or 
hard modding your graphics card - by 
adding resistors and other components 
on the card. We will cover that some 
other time. For now, go ahead and get 
more frames per second and enhanced 
gaming by overclocking your GPU. H 



Digit I December 2010 I 




Speed up your life 

Social Networking 

IWe show you the 
| quickest ways to 
| keep connected 

= Siddharth Parwatay 

= siddharth.parwatay@thinkdigit. com 

= ^T ^T "^^e're going to make a 
= % ^L I not-so-shocking revela- 
\f %/ tion. "For an average 
T ▼ user, social networking 
= accounts for the most time spent online!" 
= So here's how you can get even better at it. 


Social Networks 

t Twitter 
fll Links din 
Add More Networks 

Use all in one messengers 

Why use separate instances of Gtalk, 
Yahoo!, MSN, IRC, Facebook 
chat etc? Instead you can use 
a multi-protocol messenger 
such as Digsby (http://www. or Miranda (http:// to aggre- 
gate all your chat and social 
networks into one place. Of 
these Digsby is more visually 
appealing while Miranda is robust, offer 
ing pluggin support and customisation. 

Use extensions 

Extensions, especially on Google 
Chrome allow you to do a lot more and a 
lot faster when it comes to keeping track 
of updates and updating your social 
networks. Social networking, be it Face- 
book, Twitter, Linkedln or any other net- 
work, is all about now. You need access 



Linking networks 

Your Dashboard 

to updates all the time. Chrome exten- 
sions such as "Chromed Bird", "Face- 
book for Google Chrome." etc give you 
notifications for comments, 
updates, and replies. They'll 
also allow you to update 
status right from a pop-up 
bubble without ever changing 
tabs. Head over to https:// dash board for a wide array of extensions. 



* v- Q- }- 

T»wt*r I 


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'inn -t"j! \fi?*rS}A i,Mj fij*"Kifirinrl»nd! 



If£»jiriiitir1,(iul4jp^ii^^iei«9t« Op* 

g >> Cllini. J*. ,r 1*1.:!,. 00 «** «m Wftri* H r| thU 

!» nu« i4 Km A CibtCL L" 

= Chromed Bird extension in action 

Phone apps all the way 

If you're not using your phone to net- 
work on the go, you're loosing out on a 
lot of precious moments in your daily 
commute where you could be catching 
up on a lot of happenings. iPhone and 
Android will have a host of apps but 
when it comes to lesser mortals like 
J2ME and Symbian we've found Snaptu 
to be a very good performer. It's light 
and fast on the slowest of phones. 

Use one-to-many updaters 

One of the painful and time 
consuming aspects of social networking 
ironically is updating your status on 
all of those social networks you so 
enthusiastically joined. Fret not, 
services such as will help 
you update your status in a jiffy on all 
of your social networks at once. The 
webapp has an amazing number of 
services under its umbrella; from 
common ones like Facebook, Twitter, 
MySpace to obscure ones such as Identi. 
ca, Tumblr, and StatusNet. We lost count 
at 34! Of course, if you don't like there's always d 


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Speed up your life 


= Robert Sovereign- Smith 


= VII hanks to plummeting router 
prices, everyone has a wire- 
less network at home or office. 
= -^L. However, not all of us are 

= getting the most out of our routers. 

| Buy right 

= You can't really assess a router's per- 

= formance based on its price alone 

= - because some high performance 

= routers based on the 802.11g standard 

= are much more expensive than, say, 

= entry-level 802.11n routers - but if you 

= have 802.11n devices, they'd perform 

= better on an entry level n-based router. 
The 802.11n standard offers a peak 

= throughput rate of 150 Mbps, while the 

= older 802.11g offers rates of just 54 Mbps. 

= Although you'd still need your laptop 

= or hardware to be 802.11n capable to 

= make full use of such routers, it's not a 

results in slower network speeds. 

Card settings 

Just as with the router, most people leave 
their PC's wireless settings at default, 
which is not always optimal. Instead, 
look at the settings and change them to 
whatever "sounds faster". We say this 
because the actual settings depend on 
the card you have - each manufacturer 
details their settings differently. In general 
though, look for the following settings: 

1. Roaming: This setting deter- 
mines how often your card will look 
for new networks, in order to try and 
connect to the one with the strongest 
signal. In a home setup, this should 
be set to the lowest setting possible. 

2. Power: Unless you're bothered 
about battery life, set this to the set- 
ting that uses the highest power. This 
is usually displayed in two very dif- 
ferent ways - some cards directly ask 
you to choose between "Max power" or 

Let it off the leash 

Here are a few tips 
on how to speed 
up your wireless 

bad idea to plan for the future and invest 
in one. Most W-Fi-enabled products 
now come with 802.11n support. 

If you want to just share the internet 
connection, any Wi-Fi router will handle 
internet speeds with ease, but the minute 
you try and transfer large files over the air, 
from, say, your laptop to your PC, the slow 
speeds of 802.11g routers is apparent. 

Channel surfing 

Download inSSIDer from MetaGeek 
( and 
run it on a laptop. This will list all of the 
channels that other people's routers are 
broadcasting on. Find the most unused 
channel, and set your router to use that 
one. In city buildings, where a lot of 
people have wireless routers, certain 
channels (usually the manufacturer- 
set default) can get congested, and this 


You can use inSSIDer to also test the 
placement of the router in your home or 
office. The best way to do so is to walk 
around with your laptop, and look at 
the singnal strength in the areas you're 
likely to be sitting in. Maximum signal 
strength translates to better throughput 
performance, so make sure your 
router is placed in an ideal location. 

Drivers and Firmware 

You should ensure that you always 
have the latest drivers installed for your 
network card, and also keep checking 
your router manufacturer's site to ensure 
that you have the latest firmware. Very 
often, updated drivers and firmware 
translate to more performance tweaks. 
But keep a copy of your current firmware 
handy too, and ensure that you don't 
lose power during the update proce- 
dure, or you might brick your router. 

Too many devices 

Don't make everything connect wire- 
lessly! For example, a lot of the time 
people will keep a gaming console (PS3/ 


InSSIDer - congestion check 

"Best Performance", whilst others may 
choose to mention this setting in terms 
of power consumption savings, in which 
case you should "Disable" this setting. 

3. If you have a 802.11n router, and 
your laptop is 802.11n-capable, make sure 
to use the setting that forces n-mode. 

4. Make sure to look-up your card 
manufacturer's site, and understand 
what the settings mean, and accord- 
ingly change them to whatever trans- 
lates to maximum performance. 

XBox/Wii) right next to the router, 
but use Wi-Fi instead of LAN cables 
to connect them. The fewer devices 
connecting to the router, the faster 
the speeds, it's that simple a rule! 

Follow these simple tips and you 
can easily increase your wire- 
less network, for free. However, in 
office setups, it might be advisable 
to invest in repeaters and signal 
boosters to improve performance, 
and thus, increase productivity. El 



Digit I December 2010 I 



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Harish Agarwal 



India's Fastest PC 

I We built a 
1 REALLY fast 
I system, and 
I made it even 
I faster! 

We've seen a lot of people 
build fast performance 
systems but with the 
kind of hardware that is 
available today, we at Digit aren't the kind 
to say "that's good enough". So just when 
this year is about to end, we decided that 
we wanted to build something quick. 
We wanted to build what most definitely 
was going to be India's Fastest PC! 
Now, there are plenty of people 
who set up nitrogen cooling rigs and 
hold records for the fastest processor. 
But can those systems be run for more 
than a couple of hours. We wanted to 
build a rig that was going to be hope- 
fully, one of the fastest in the world, 
but yet practical and could be run for 
long periods of time without having 
to be refuelled with liquid nitrogen. 

A Beast is 

The machine 

We wanted to be sure we got the best we 

could find. After considering a lot, we 

finalised on a list. The 

fastest desktop processor, 

a 6-core Intel Core \7 

980X would be at the 

heart of the system. The 

Extreme class processor 

would ensure we had 

enough flexibility when 

we got started with 

the overclocking. The 

motherboard, an ASUS 

Rampage III Extreme 

was one of the best X58 

boards around. There are 

tons of BIOS tweaking 

options to help get the in go the six sticks of 12 GB DDR3 memory 

Rossi Fernandes 

best possible performance out of the 
processor. To ensure there weren't any 
bottlenecks, we chose to go with 12 GB 



Digit I December 2010 I 






Stock Speed 



3DMark Vantage 

Overall Score 




GPU Score 




CPU Score 





1920x1200 / DX10 / 4x 
FSAA/ Max Detail 




1920x1200 / DX10 / 8x 
FSAA /Max Detail 




Far Cry 2 

1920x1200 / DX10 / Ultra 




1920x1200 / DX10 / Ultra 




1920x1200 / DX10 / Ultra 




Cinebench 10 





Multiple CPU Render Test 




of Kingston DDR3 HyperX RAM. Our 
faithful WD Velociraptor would be the 
drive of choice for this supreme system. 
One Velociraptor would suffice, but 
we thought we'd push the envelope. 
We went with a RAID O configura- 
tion with two WD Velociraptors. 

The grand gaming performance 
would have to come from a really 
powerful graphics card. Once again, 
the fastest card had to be procured. 
XFX's Radeon 5970 was the card. But 
wait, one card wouldn't be enough, so 
we got two of them. XFX sent us their 
Black Edition Radeon 5970s cards. To 
power this mammoth of a system, we 
needed a reliable power supply and 
of course, a chassis. Cooler Master's 
Silent Pro 1200W Gold rated power 
supply was used to power the two 
power hungry Radeon 5970s. The 
Cooler Master HAF X chassis would 
have ample space, plenty of fans and 
it would be sturdy for our needs. 

Corsair sent us their H50 liquid 
cooling unit. Keep in mind that we 
were looking to build a stable, eve- 
ryday use system. The H50 might not 

A few Velociraptor drives for the RAID 

be the ultimate water cooling kit in the 
world, but it sure is compact, easy to 
setup and it does the job rather well. 
Monitoring the Intel Core i7 980X 
idle at 33C gave us a good feeling. 

We weren't going to be using a silly 
17-inch CRT for this system, so we called 
in for a Viewsonic VP2655WB, a 26-inch 
IPS panel LCD from the Pro series of 
displays. Just the sight of the desktop 
made most of us hate the TN panel 
LCDs we're so used to seeing. The Razer 

...and you and your rig couLd be featured in 
one of our upcoming issues! 

Lachesis was brought in for the gaming 
that might occur post-overclocking. 

Let's start assembling 

We put together the entire rig one piece 
at the time. We started by mounting the 
processor on the board and applying 
a thin layer of thermal paste on it. The 
mounting for the H50 cooler hooked 
on to the board easily and then went 
the main block. We then connected the 
radiator unit to the back of the cabinet. 

The memory went in next, followed 
by the two Radeon 5970 graphics 
cards. The installation was a close 
fit with the two cards hugging each 
other. The Velociraptor drives and the 
power supply followed. Quite hon- 
estly, the cable setup was not the ideal 
setup. We're talking of two auxiliary 
power connections, four power con- 
nections for the power supplies. Two 
more for the hard drives, one for 
the optical drive, and a large 24-pin 
power connector for the mainboard. 

We booted up with fingers crossed 
to see if it would be one of those starts 
without hiccups. It proved to be so. The 
idle temperature of the processor didn't 
cross 33 to 35C, which was a good sign. 
A quick run to 4 GHz was successful 
in a matter of seconds. Remember that 
the stock speed for the Core i7 980X is 
3.33 GHz (133 x 25). We left the set- 
tings to the defaults, and went ahead 
with the Windows installation. 

The tests and benchmarks 

Testing of the system was no different 
from other products. We installed the 
latest drivers for the graphics card 
and the motherboard along with the 
RAID controller. The drives were 
setup in RAID O configuration for 
the best performance. The plan was 
to note down a few scores and then 
overclock the other components. 

A couple of benchmarks were 
installed and we were on our way. The 
initial scores we received were all very 
promising. The scores of the initial 
and final runs are given in the table. 

Let the overclocking commence! 

The setting up of the rig went on 





India's Fastest PC 


into the early hours of the morning. 
Overclocking only began after that. The 
first trial run showed us that we could 
cross 4GHz without any issues. This 
was only in the BIOS. We would have 
no issues with posting. The BIOS was 
setup to disable any thermal protection 
and alerts. There would be no throttling 
down of the CPU, so we would know 
immediately if we were going to face 
instability. Throughout our exercise 
we noticed BSODs during bootup, and 
sometimes while running benchmarks. 

We would use CPU-Z, GPU-Z and 
SpeedFan to monitor the various 
statistics of the graphics card and 
processor. Cinebench was our stress 
test for the processor once we over- 
clocked it a step higher. A 100 per 
cent load on the CPU for more than 
30 seconds would result in an instant 
bluescreen of death or a lockup. 

Finally, we started our overclocking 
run. Initially, the clocks were pushed 
higher by simply switching multipliers 
and we were easily able to touch around 
4.1GHz without much effort. Once we 
reached 4.2 GHz or so, we hit a road- 

— Attaching the mount for the Corsair H50 cooler 

= block. Depending more on the board's 

= clock frequency was the way to go. We 

= cut down on the multiplier and started 

= focussing on incrementing the FSB. 

= Finally around 4.3GHz, we hit another 

The two Radeon 5970s ready for action 

roadblock. The overclock was stable till 
we booted into Windows. Benchmarks 
would throw up BSODs and some- 
times even just a CPU-Z or SpeedFan 
application would cause instability. 

It was time to tweak the voltages to 
improve stability. We went with over- 
volting the processor by a bit to get that 
stability. After multiple combinations, 
tweaks and reboots, we hit our magical 
figure of 4.4 GHz or 4412 MHz to be 
precise. We were able to cross 4.5GHz 
and boot into Windows, but not enough 
to achieve stability for benchmarks. 

The Results 

The results of the overclock and build 
are nothing short of impressive, even 
for us. Majority of the overclockers 
online don't cross 4.1 GHz overclocks 
on a 980X. The 4.4 GHz overclock 
we achieved, lets the processor idle at 
around 40 C and under load, it peaks 
out at around 63 C. We can assume 
this setup to be stable enough to run 
day and night without any problems. 


The Corsair H50 does a great job 
of cooling the Core i7 and although 
compact and simplistic, it isn't far 
behind large heavy duty cooling units. E 

Coming to scores, the stock setup 
itself was the fastest we had seen and 
the likelihood of anyone using such a 
system is pretty slim. The stock frame 
rates in Far Cry 2 at the absolutely 
highest quality settings, was mind 
boggling. Turning on FSAA to 4x or 8x E 
hardly made a difference to the scores. E 

Overclocking only boosted this 
performance by a lot. The overclocked E 
processor ran 32 per cent faster. For 
the fastest desktop processor that Intel E 
sells, it's a lot. The performance wasn't E 
only limited to processing and graphics E 
rendering either. The RAID setup 
drives were churning out numbers not E 
reachable by standard drives. To give 
you a gist, we were seeing 200 MB/s 
read speeds . The graphics cards we 
used were extremely hot. Fortunately, 
they were factory overclocked but we 
would have liked to push them a little bit E 
further. It would have helped us reach E 
the 44,000 figure in 3DMark Vantage. E 

What we've managed to do is build E 
the fastest gaming PC in the country. 
It doesn't look like this kind of per- 
formance will be available on a single 
graphics card for at least a year to come. E 
The approximate cost of the entire 
system was around 2.5 lac rupees. 
We've achieved what we set out to build, E 
and most of the guys at Digit should 
be occupied with playing games at the 
most ridiculous quality settings ever. El 


Digit I December 2010 I 



Intel Core \7 980X 


ASUS Rampage III Extreme 

Graphics Card 

XFX Radeon 5970 Black Edition (x2) 


Kingston HyperX DDR3 (6x2 GB) 

Hard Drives 

WD Velociraptor 300 GB (x2) 

Power Supply 

Cooler Master's Silent Pro 1200W 


Cooler Master HAF X 


Razer Lachesis 






to work for 






It's funny how we begin to 
take some things for granted. 
Like huge malls, mobile 
phones or expressways. It's 
funny because till a few years 
back we could only dream 
about such things happening 
to us. But there's another 
turning point which we often 
overlook, something which 
changed our lives forever. 
The power to travel. From 
waiting endlessly in queues 
to reserving seats to dealing 
with shady touts, preparing to 
travel was a thoroughly 
unpleasant experience. 

Before online travel 
bookings. Before, need we 
say, A 
pioneer in the online travel 
and hospitality space, blew a 
draught of fresh air into the 
musty world of travel. From 
ease of bookings to 
convenience of planning your 
travel plans and from secure 
online payments to providing 
multiple choices of venue, opened a 
new world to the people of 
India. And the people of India 
took us to their heart. Making 

us the country's leading 
online travel portal. A lot of 
people ask us how we 
managed so much in such a 
short time. And we always 
say it's our people and the 
way we work. With integrity, 
respect for another and 
above all, having fun at work. 
Exactly the qualities our 
customers experience. As we 
celebrate yet another 
milestone in our short history, 
we would like to thank 
everyone who helped us go 
places so we can continue to 
help you go places. 

make nj// trip 


ideas . passion, fun. 



Cover Feature 



DNA computers 

A fusion of technology and bionics has 
for long been the holy grail for science. 
One of the explorations in this field is 
the possibility of using DNA to perform 
complex calculations. If you look at 
conventional computers, they're at their 
heart machines, that perform calcula- 
tions; even when they're playing your 
favourite MP3 track. These calculations 
are performed via electronic impulses 
that run across silicon circuitry. Again, 
the limitations of silicon prompted 
researchers to look at alternate mate- 
rials. And they couldn't have come up 
with a more absurd one - DNA - essen- 
tially the building blocks of life. When 
you give it further thought, it's but 
natural. After all, genes do store a hell of 
a lot of data and can perform millions of 
calculations every minute throughout 
an organism's life. In theory we're 
walking around with billions of super- 
computers inside us. In DNA computers, 
DNA molecules can be used to perform 
calculations using enzymes. When they 
undergo reactions at a molecular level, 
calculations and simple operations are a 
byproduct. To demonstrate this in 2002 
scientists from the Weizmann Institute 
of Science in Rehovot, Israel created 
a computing machine based on this 
principle to solve simple mathematical 
problems. The composition of the DNA 
can be manipulated to control the type 
of output. The speed advantage here is 
that unlike conventional computers that 
operate linearly, billions of molecules 
will attack the problem parallelly. The 
problem that such computers could 
solve are those that involve infinitely 
large number of possibilities such 
as weather prediction for instance. 
Problems that conventional computers 
might take years to perform would be 
solved in a couple of hours. Wonder 
if they'll play a 3D blu-ray though? 

Quantum Computers 

Just like DNA-based computers the 
idea of Quantum Computers has been 
around for some time now, but with 
each passing year, it comes closer to 
reality. Quantum mechanics is all 
about entering the subatomic world of 
particles such as neutrons and elec- 
trons. These computers will make use of 

Lightning fast 


Siddharth Parwatay 

Technology on 
the nigh horizon 
will make com- 
puters faster 
than ever before. 
Read on and get 
a glimpse into a 
blazing future 

From the bygone era of early 
computing, when clunky 
behemoths of first genera- 
tion computers were consid- 
ered fast, to the pocketable miracles 
of today; we have come a long way. 
Computers have grown to be faster, 
smaller, and more energy efficient 

almost exponentially, and keeping in 
tune with Moore's Law. But as chip sizes 
go smaller, in an effort to pack in more 
and more circuitry to speed things up, 
fundamental physical restrictions come 
in the way. The chips start leaking sig- 
nals and won't hold digital information 
anymore. So then, are we at the frontiers 
of what can be done? Not at all. We've 
just barely begun to scratch the surface 
to unlock the secrets that computing can 
unfold. Bottlenecks will be a thing of the 
past, internal data speeds will increase 
beyond our wildest imagination, 
computers will be able to keep up with 
our thoughts, and the very definition of 
computing will change. Here's a look at 
some of the technologies on the drawing 
board which inventors, scientists and 
futurists alike are excited about that will 
make computing faster than ever before. 




Digit I December 2010 I 




quantum properties of electrons to exist 
in a dual state to perform calculations. 
Recent experiments have shown that 
the spin of electrons can be controlled 
to go in either one direction or the other, 
thereby giving them a particular state 
(either one or zero) just like in regular 
computing. The difference here is that 
the change in state will let electrons 
occupy these two states and any posi- 
tions in between all at once - thanks to 
the quantum property of superposition 
i.e the ability of particles to behave as 
waves. Think of a taut piece of wire 
attached at two ends. If you give it a pull 
and if the vibration is right, you will find 
that one end is going up while the other 
is going down. As a wave it'll appear 
to cover every position in between too. 
As opposed to a binary bit, this makes 
qubits (quantum bits), represent expo- 
nential values. Two qubits can represent 
four, three could represent eight and so 
on. A finite number of qubits can 
represent 2 n states. This power can 
be harnessed to solve huge prob- 
lems such as decryption exceed- 
ingly quickly. Quantum computers 
are still largely theoretical. A 
sixteen qubit computer created by 
Canadian company D-Wave was 
used to solve sudoku and other 
pattern recognition problems. But 
the day won't be far when these 
computers move out of playing 
silly games, and start cracking 
codes or searching all of the world's 
databases in the blink of an eye. 

wait on slow pokes 
like us (humans) for 
instructions? This is 
where newer methods of 
interacting with our com- 
puting better halves come 
into the picture. Recently 
researchers in Israel 
developed a software that 
could replace expensive 
retinal scanners. The 
company ID-U, believes 
that every person has 
a uniquely identifiable 
pattern of eye move- 
ments. Using a simple webcam they aim 
to create an authentication tool. This 
technology however has some fasci- 
nating corollaries that can be drawn. 
If eye movement can be mapped with 
such accuracy, its not hard to imagine 
eye movement controlled interfaces. 
In fact this latest find comes in a long 
line of projects intended to assist the 
handicapped or paralysed. If such 
technology were to reach the main- 
stream, we could completely elimi- 
nate the lag which occurs when your 
hand moves slowly to catch up with 
what your eyes have seen ages ago. 
A step further would be thought 
controlled computers. Flawlessly inter- 
facing with computers in real time with 
perhaps not just the input commands 
but the resultant output being directly 
beamed to the optic nerve to form an 
augmented reality overlay. In our last 
issue we pointed you to an article on Giz- 


Interfaces of the future 

What's the use of lightning fast 
computers if they still have to 

Graphene - carbon that is as 
think as one atom - could be 
used to make electronic circuitry 
that would be much faster than 
silicon. The advantage is that 
silicon becomes unstable below 
10 nanometers, but Graphene 
makes it possible to carve 
transistors that a just about a 
nanometer wide. Incidentally 
Graphene is the world's thin- 
nest material and could have 
applications in quantum com- 
puting. The two scientists from 
Manchester University who 

Graphene - the one atom thick 
lattice of carbon 

discovered Graphene (Professor 
Andre Geim and Professor 
Konstantin Novoselov) were 
awarded the nobel prize in 
physics Last month. 

modo that featured a rat that controlled 
a car with its thoughts. But of course no 
one would want implants and electrodes 
sticking out of their cranium. Fear not 
research is ongoing to send impulses to 
the brain via ultrasonic sound waves. 

Artificial Intelligence 

Envision a scenario, a few decades from 
now, where many of these experi- 
mental technologies have been put into 
place. You know, those Sci-fi scenarios 
that futurists often dream of: You get 
up from bed, and as your feet touch 
the floor, it illuminates, signalling 
embedded systems to initiate sequences 
to prepare you for your departure. Your 
morning news gets displayed on the 
bathroom mirror while you brush. Your 
clothes for the day, carefully picked 
based on your itinerary and appoint- 
ments (digitally analysed beforehand), 
swing into view on a carousel as you 
open your closet. Meanwhile your car 
switches on and keeps the AC on to just 
the right temperature after checking 
with the weather forecasts. These 
scenarios require two important things 
- one is tremendous computational 
power (which will come from some 
of the computing advances described 
earlier) and the other is the ability for 
computers to 'think'. The latter is where 
AI kicks in . You're probably thinking 
this scenario is too far fetched. How 
will it help speed things up in the near 
future? Soon when AI achieves a certain 
level of maturity, you will find that it 

will keep one step ahead of 
you to make things easier 
for you on your PC. Your 
daily usage patterns from 
boot up will be analysed, 
the context of what your 
reading will be analysed. 
The calm reassuring voice 
of 'Jarvis' will tell you "I'm 
already on it sir". So the 
next time you select text 
and hit Ctrl+C a notepad 
file will already be open 
and waiting. Combine this 
with thought computing 
and you won't even have to 
talk to your computer's AI 
persona - that's computing 
at the speed of thought. H 


Digit I December 2010 I 11 



Cover Feature 


Nash David 

nash. david@thinkdigit. com 

That India's telecom industry 
is among the fastest growing 
in the world is no secret. To 
add to it, as Indians, we enjoy 
the lowest telephone tariffs in the world. 
Attesting the significance of telecom- 
munications in emerging India, the 
recently concluded 3G spectrum auction 
boosted the exchequer by approxi- 
mately ^67,719 crores ($15.12 billion). 
What consumers don't realise readily 
is that this $15 billion will be recovered 
indirectly in the form of access fee, 
and primarily tarriffs. If your mobile 
operator paid ^10,000 crore to be able 
to give you 3G services, there's no way 
it would be able to let you stream video 
and have video call conferences with 
the cheapest tariffs in the world. 

able to be eligible to operate 3G services 
in a few circles. A tricky scenario is 
that owing to complications and rising 
costs, no single operator has been able 
to bag a nationwide licence. Only three 
operators (Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance 
Communications) have bagged licences 
in the most number of circles - 13. In 
case you didn't know, the state of India 
is divided into nearly 24 telecom circles. 
A direct implication of this is that in 
case you are critically dependent on 3G 
for voice-data convergent communica- 
tions, while on the move your operator 
needs to have significant tie-ups 
with fellow operators for roaming. 

The only operators to effectively 
execute this synergy between the urban 
and rural divide in India are state- 
owned operators MTNL and BSNL. 
Where they do take a beating is cus- 
tomer service. As far service availability 

Is it really here? 
Or do we wait and 

In early 2010, Sunil Mittal, 
Chairman, Bharti Airtel, had com- 
mented, "Take the example of Delhi 
itself, or Mumbai. The amount for 
spectrum that has been charged is close 
to ^3,500 crore each... 
just to recover licence fees 
and input cost, it works 
out to be ^700-900 per 
month," ^700-900 per 
month doesn't really sound 
cheap by Indian standards. 
We're price conscious! 
However, while unveiling 
Airtel's new logo late in 
November 2010, all he had 
to say was that Airtel would 
ensure that 3G services 
are "affordable" (with no 
further elaboration). 

It must be quite a night- 
mare for telcos that have 
paid large premiums to be 

ET^ 1W2'.— i 

Holding the phone in front 
of you doesn't feel very 
comfortable for long 

is concerned, you should go on a road 
trip through the highways across the 
nation and experience BSNL's vast and 
deeply penetrated cellular network. 
Not very long ago, BSNL used to be 7th 
largest telecom operator in the world. If 
you are an existing 2G subcriber with 
any of the remaining private operators 
you wouldn't have access to this wide 
network in rural India. Also given that 
no operator has a pan-India 
licence, your 3G licence will 
not be seamless when on 
roaming. Comparatively, 
GPRS and EDGE services 
are available in networks 
across the country. 

First hand 

State-owned operators 
MTNL and BSNL were the 
first to launch 3G services. 
In Mumbai, MTNL has been 
offering 3G services for over 
a year, yet the response has 
been mixed. To get a feel of 
user experience, we asked 


A spectrum is a range of electromagnetic 
frequencies that your mobile company 
needs to own to be able to beam the 
network to your handset. This is similar 
to the FM frequency owned by radio 
companies. Owning a frequency involves 
payments of hefty amounts and thereby 
involves humungous investments even 
before implementation of costly infra- 
structure required to begin operations. 
Given the critical and strategic commer- 
cial significance of allotting spectrum, in- 
creasingly governments around the globe 
prefer auctions rather than an apply-and- 
alocate approach and install time. 

our readers about GSM 3G services. 

We wanted to know for sure, so 
we got ourselves an MTNL SIM card. 
All said and done, we had our share 
of hiccups in the beginning. It began 
with the initial recharge. When we 
called up customer care to activate 3G, 
we got an announcement that said, 
"the number you have dialled does not 
exist." May be that was not the exact 
start we were looking forward to! 

According to Tata DOCOMO'S Latest pricing, 
all calls are on a per-second pulse with a 
validity of one month. 

1 Price? 

Monthly minutes 
Local + STD 

3G Data 1 






500 MB 






2 GB 

When we sent the required mes- 
sage, we waited for a couple of 
hours to receive the necessary set- 
ting, but nothing happened. 

Similarly, Digit community member 
Prasanna Vathanan adds, "I'm using 
BSNL 3G services on my HTC Hero. 
I'm able to view all mails easily and 
attachments and downloading is fast. It 
saves me time as I can view and respond 
to customer queries instantly, which 
is painful even on an EDGE network. I 
tried video calling, but it has a major dis- 
advantage as you need to keep the phone 
in front of you and talk with everyone 
around able to hear you. There's no 
privacy in video calls. BSNL customer 
support and data plans are very bad. So 




Digit I December 2010 I 




awaiting for private players to jump-in." 

Even our own experience with 
MTNL seemed to invoke the very 
same sentiments shared by Vathanan. 
We would like the Quality of Service 
to improve drastically or at least 
be offered better services by other 
providers that are waiting to make 
an entry in this vast market. 

The whole nation is watching over 
this one sector that eased our fiscal 
deficit by the revenue it generated 
earlier in the year. It should have been 
an out-of-this-world experience with 
video calling and video streaming. We 
began using 3G services with enthu- 
siasm that was soon washed away as 
we got used to the technology. We tried 
asking operators about their plans and 


Around the end of 2009, Sweden's TeLia- 
Sonera implemented 4G networks in Oslo 
and Stockholm. With current GSM net- 
works, you can download at a maximum 
of 236.8 kbps. Migrating to 3G, you'd get a 
boost to a maximum of 2 Mbps. With 4G, 
it's a mammoth 100 Mbps on your device. 
That's close to a ten-fold increase than 
your best mobile experience ever 

tariffs. Surprisingly 3G announce- 
ments were not on their priority. If 
you'd take a closer look at all develop- 
ments in the 3G space, it's primarily 
the same old story - the most you'll 
get to hear is bragging about winning 
licences in x,y z circles across India. 

So far, DoCoMo is the only operator 
that has gone ahead, launched its 

services and also announced tariffs 
that will follow a pay-per-use model. 
The rest of them seem to be waiting and 
gauging the market before commenting 
or even making announcements. They 
better be worried for once, so that we 
as consumers could benefit in the long 
run. There were other events, or plans 
that seemed far more important. Seems 
like they're all apprehensive about your 
reaction to their pricing and it turns out 
that all operators are following a wait 
and watch policy. Certainly, if you are 
one of those that don't mind opting for 
an operator that doesn't let you con- 
nect to customer care when you need 
it the most (and if you get through to 
someone who can't really answer your 
queries) then MTNL is your safe bet. El 

We spoke to DPS Seth, Member, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) 
to get a feel of what lies ahead with all the hype surrounding 3G 

Q. Tell us about number portability. Will 
it be a game changer with customers 
switching operators to get better 3G 

A. The general trend the world over is 
that when you introduce number port- 
ability there is usually a lot of enthu- 
siasm and substantial shift, which later 
settles down. When that is happening 
there has to be something which will 
promote the desire in the heart of the 
consumer to change. The change itself 
can also be something that makes the 
subscriber unhappy about the quality 
of service. On this front, all operators 
are in poor shape and on equal footing. 

You can expect users to go in for 
3G services because these networks 
will be relatively new networks that 
are recently installed and will not 
be congested. Also in order to use 
3G services, subscribers will have to 
procure newer handsets. High-end 
customers will definitely migrate to 3G, 
resulting in higher average revenue per 
user (ARPU). This is something even 
operators would want, so that they can 
create some space in the 2G network - 
enabling them to add more customers 
or ensure better quality of service. 

Q. What kind of 3G tariffs do you expect? 

A. I do not expect 3G tariffs to be more 

than the existing 2G tariffs, for the 
simple reason that at least for the next 
couple of years, the traffic on existing 
3G networks will essentially be voice 
traffic. As data applications develop, 
only then will the add-on data charges 
really contribute towards the ARPU 
for 3G, over and above the voice 
contributing component. Essentially, 
if it's going to be voice-based traffic, 
tariffs can't be higher than 2G. Oth- 
erwise there won't be any incentive 
for anyone to go in for 3G services. In 
fact, we have a parallel in the UK. An 
English telecom operator had begun 3G 
services with tariffs lower than existing 
2G tariffs to popularise 3G services. 

Q. Practically, how long do you think it 
would take for a pan-India implementa- 
tion of 3G services? 

A. The telecom sector is a highly capital- 
intensive sector. Therefore, operators 
need to generate revenues and in turn 
invest capital in further geographical 
expansions. At least for the next couple 
of years, operators would be busy 
with the implementation of 3G across 
states. But, there needs to be some 
incentive for widespread adoption of 
3G, especially in rural areas because 
there is a dearth of disposable income 
available for spending on telecom. 

Q. Have we taken long to switch to 3G? = 

On a global scale, how would you place = 

India as far as 3G is concerned? = 

A. "Have we taken long enough" = 

is an understatement. The transi- = 

tion should have happened long = 

ago. We should have migrated to = 

3G at least four to five years ago. = 

Q. Several other countries are now = 

moving beyond 3G, by upgrading the data = 

component to HSPA+. Where do you see = 

India going forward? How long do you = 

think India would stay with 3G before = 

moving on to LTE or 4G? = 

A. It is really not a question of one or = 

the other. The general thinking now is = 

that 3G and LTE will be complementing = 

each other. Both technologies are good = 

for certain purposes. First of all, LTE is = 

not 4G. It is rather 3G+ or 4G- (anything = 

but 4G). The trend is moving towards = 

IP capabilities with focus on data = 
networks. While HSPA networks are 

optimised for voice, LTE networks are = 

more suitable for data. Unless, there are = 

reasons for users to use exceptionally = 
large bandwidths, there is still a long 

way to go. What we would eventually = 

witness is a scenario where 3G would = 
handle the voice segment while LTE 

would handle the data segment. There = 
could really be a harmony or sorts. 


Digit I December 2010 I 79 



Cover Feature 


tttt ««HHI»""»«H«lli % 

,//// ''«Hl»,II.IIII.HHH«« ttttX 

Iinvx vs . Windows 


FJIfflW THE n nci 

From greybeards 
to newbies, what 
do you think? 

Rudresh Jariwala 

rudresh.j@thinkdigit. com 

Let us get this clear from the 
start! This is NOT your run of 
the mill Linux vs. Windows 
"which is better then the other" 
comparison. Think of this as an aggrega- 
tion of thoughts from user's with varying 
years of experience, all bundled into 
one clean, up to date package. And with 
speed being the theme of the month, we 
are also throwing in some bonus stats 
from some speed tests we conducted. 

Do you have ten minutes? 

Our approach to what you - the user's 
think was pretty straightforward. We 
asked a whole bunch of user's who had 
been exposed to the two computing 
environments what their thoughts 
were on certain aspects of each OS and 
asked for a vote on which they thought 
was a winner (or a tie). This question- 
naire first spammed inboxes in our 
office and then grew into the 
community ( 
forum) where it recieved a 
fairly good response as well. 

We found that all users who 
particiapted in the feedback 
had a minimum of 6 years of 
Windows experience and the 
*nix experience ranged from 
10 days to 14 years! User's were 

then categorised based on number of 
years of computer related experience 
and we brought on the onslought. 

The consensus 

Let's take it from the top where almost 
everyone thought one edged out the 
other. 88% of users agreed that Linux 
provides better default programs post 
installation and frankly, we agree. Then 
again, there are two sides to every story. 
Though Linux user's may have the 
benefit of better post install applica- 
tions like an image editor, pdf reader, 
email client, Bittorrent client, office suite 
and Firefox as the browser, Windows 
boasts the best 3rd party support with 
powerful applications like the Adobe/ 

Speaking of browsers, the poLL showed 
that almost all users found Firefox a 
better alternative to Internet Explorer. 
With the new and much improved version 
(IE 9) now though, 
Misrosoft seems to 
have a better grip on 
security than before. 
Overall, Firefox has 
been recieving a Lot 
of flak off Late and 
Microsoft is trying to 
regain Lost ground so we recommend you 
read up on the Latest buzz on browsers 
before you take a call on your browser of 
choice. Also check out a feature in Con- 
nections regarding what's going wrong 
with the open source browser. 

Corel suite, a more powerful Microsoft 
Office (if you have the money) suite and 
here's the trump card - GAMES! Linux 
has simply not seen the plethora of 
games that are available at the Windows' 
users disposal, which deters many from 
considering the open source alternative. 

65% of the users that voted either 
Windows or Linux in the customisa- 
tion section felt that though Windows 
had a much better overall audio visual 
appeal, the customisation 
options that Linux soft- 
ware like Compiz Fusion 
and TweakUI offered 
were better. Some users 
reported that giving so 
many choices was con- 
fusing. Networking was 
another place where users 
felt Windows was easier 



Digit I December 2010 I 




when it came to setting up of a LAN, 
printer and overall functionality with 
74% of the votes going Windows' way. 

System maintenance was strictly 
dominated by Linux (81% of votes were 
in favour of Linux) where users mostly 
agreed that the lack of too many Linux 
based malware when combined with the 
file system (ext4) not requiring defrag- 
menting made their lives a lot easier. But 
maintenance did not cover the aspect 
of troubleshoting where users (65% to 
be exact) felt that resolving a problem 
by themselves in Windows was a much 
simpler task when compared to Linux, 
simply because they were familiar with 
the innards of the OS like the registry. 
Hardware support (rather lack of it) 
was another problem faced by Linux 
adopters especially the ones running 
legacy hardware. Windows picked this 
one up due to the simple fact that hard- 
ware vendors write Windows drivers 
but don't always do the same for Linux, 
leaving the open source community to 
put their heads together and make the 
driver available to users looking for 
compatibility. Though this is not such 
a rampant problem now with newer 
hardware, it is a point to note if you 
plan on running Linux on old hardware 
(sound drivers get special mention for 
the problems they face on Linux). 

Points of contention 

By votes, 46% of the people thought 
that Windows had a simpler installer 
whereas 35% of the votes went to Linux, 
with the remaining 19% saying that 
they are both in equal footing. The user 
Liverpool_fan in the forum felt very 
strongly about the Windows installer. 
"... it's HORRIBLE. It wipes out the boot 
loader of a previously installed Linux 
OS." Though we don't share his views on 
the former, he did bring up a valid point 

for those considering a dual boot (there 
are simple workarounds to restore your 
boot sequence). Some other users were 
defending Linux in saying that it could 
even be installed inside of Windows 
(true) but what deterred most was the 
fact that Linux was confusing because 


■ Linux ■ WffKtows Tie 

it offered too many choices (is that a bad 
thing?) in the file system, swap space etc., 
so we guess we should not even bother 
trying to explain the benefits of using 
a seperate root (/) and home (/home). 
The ablity to search for and install 
new software also had the users pretty 
much splitting their opinion. Users of 
Ubuntu were right to point out the ease 


We did a fresh install of Microsoft Win- 
dows 7, Ubuntu and Mint on a PC and 
here are the install times of the 3 operat- 
ing systems. 

Windows 7 Ultimate Edition: 17m 15s 
Ubuntu: 19m 35s 
Mint: 23m 46s 

Considering you will need to perform ad- 
ditional installs on your operating system 
of choice, we recommend you add an 
additional 30-60 minutes for the updating 
and install time. 

of using the Software Center whereas 
the counter arguement of the ease 
with which Windows accomplishes 
this task was fairly compelling as 
well. File management was another 
such criterion with users going both 
ways equally on tasks such as crea- 
tion, deletion, search and copying. 

The abililty to gain help from 
manuals or online forums also was 
a fair contest as both platforms are 
very well documented and have 
very active communities partici- 
pating in the aid of someone facing 
a problem they can't get around. 

Our Stand 

In our opinion, don't be bias or too hasty 
to dismiss either of these operating 


Linux ■ Windows 

systems. They follow different models 
and the open system has its pros and 
cons as does a closed one. Give both a 
fair try and then decide based upon 
which one suits your needs best. More 
importantly, keep an open mind and 
don't be swayed by opinions of other 
user's. You never know, maybe your 
ideal config would be a dual boot? El 



Digit I December 2010 I 81 



Tips & Tricks 


Faster Adobe 

Speed up Adobe 
products and 
quick Photoshop 

Some tips to speed up 
Adobe products 
Allocating Scratch Disks 

Scratch disks are portions of the hard 
disk used by Photoshop or Premier Pro 
to run itself. When working with large 
image files, for instance, when you add 
layers and perform editing operations 
on it, these states are stored in this 
virtual memory called Scratch Disk. 
To set you scratch disk select Edit > 
Preferences > Plug- Ins and select 
Scratch Disks. You should choose a drive 
which has the most free space, as you 
do not want Photoshop or Premier Pro 
to prevent you from doing your work, if 
your scratch disk is full. Majority of the 
professionals install specific fast access 
drives just to be used as scratch disks. 

Defragmenting your drives 

When images are saved and resaved 
on the disk they get fragmented which 
means that instead of being stored in 
one single location, the information is 
broken into bits and stored in several 
locations. This file fragmentation slows 
down the opening and saving of files 
which affects the performance. So it is 



imperative to defrag your hard 
drive every once in a while. 

To defragment a drive in 
Windows XP: Click start>All 
System Tools>Disk Defrag- 
mented Choose the drive to be 
defragmented and then select 
the Defragment button. 

To defragment a drive in 
Mac OS X: Despite the fact that 
the latest version of Mac OS X 
contains automatic defragmenta 
tion of files smaller than 20MB, 
most Apple users prefer to defrag 
their drives with third-party utilities, 

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RAM percentages 

Photoshop will share the system 
RAM with the underlying OS and 
programs running at that point of 
time when Photoshop is open. Under 
Edit>Pref erences, there is a slider 
which allows you to 
select the amount of 
RAM Photoshop can use. 
Under ideal conditions 
setting a higher per- 
centage should translate 
into speedier Pho- 
toshop, right? Not really. 

If the percentage is kept higher, 
then Photoshop and your OS may 
need to move information between 
the faster RAM memory and slower 
hard drive memory. This is called 

Tweak the Angle, Distance and Speed of the Drop 
shadow in Layer Style dialog box 

page swapping and that can end 
up slowing down Photoshop. 

If you have 2GB of RAM keep 
the the allocation at 50 to 60 per 
cent whereas anything more than 
2GB you can go upto 70 per cent. 

- History && Cache 
History States 

Cache Levels 


History states 

Other quick tips 

Always have only Photoshop open 

while using it and close 
all other applications that 
run in the background 
as they will tend to 
slow down the perform- 
ance of Photoshop 
since they sip a lot of 
the CPU processing power. 

Minimise the number of history 
states as each successive edit in the 
history state is stored in the palette. 
It uses some memory resources. Go 
to Edit>Pref erences and under the 

= Before : Just a car speeding down the highway 

After : The car seems to come out of the photo 


Digit I December 2010 I 




L**; Q jf <fr 1 hi; | :,!M^| 

Btefiding Options. . , 

Drop Shadow.,. 
Inner Shadow... 
Inner Glow... 
Bevel and Emboss- ■■ 

Cola Overlay , . . 
Gradient Overlay.. . 
Pattom Ovortsy. , . 

Adding the effects 
such as Stroke and 
Drop Shadow by 
clicking on the FX icon 

Performances tab, you will notice 
the default History states kept to 20. 
If you are working on high resolution 
images, and the number of history 
states is something like 30-40, then 
you do get lots of opportunities to undo 
a step that was done sometime back, 
but Photoshop performance will take 
a hit. So ideally, try to keep the His- 
tory States to the minimum level 
to free up some memory resources. 
Finally, though this may seem like 
stating the 

obvious, only 
keep those 
files open on 
which you 
are currently 
any tasks for 
the simple 
reason that each 
open image 
will use up 
some memory. 
More so if 
you perform 
some opera- 
tion and then 
forget about the image, the History and 
layers palette will use up more memory. 

Faster Adobe Reader 

Opening PDF files may take ages for 
some and this has prompted many users 
to switch to other readers like Foxit. 
But you can speed up the opening up 
of Adobe Reader quite easily. All you 
have to do is disable all the plug-ins. 

Go to the plug_ins folder 
in Reader. The path in our case 
was something like this 

C drive > Program Files 
> Adobe > Reader 9.0 > 
Reader > plug_ins 

Move all the contents of your plugjns 
folder to a backup folder somewhere 
on your hard drive. After the plugjns 
folder is empty, try restarting that 
PDF file which took ages to open and 
notice how quick the reader opens that 
PDF file. Don't worry, the absence of 
default plug- ins will not affect your 
Reader performance. You can always 
paste back the plugjns from the 
backup folder into its original folder, 
in case you notice any problems. 

Creating a 3D pop out image 

Using this tutorial you can make your 
subject stand out from the background. 
This 3D effect also looks very good in 
images that have some action going on 
like a moving car, sports etc. It makes 
use of a very good tool found in all ver- 
sion of Photoshop from CS3 onwards. 
Its called the Quick Selection Tool 
and is present along with the Magic 
Wand Tool. So without further ado, 
lets jump straight into the tutorial. 

Step One : Open the image. Using 
the Quick Selection Tool (W) , 
select the subject from the image that 
you want to make more prominent 
and want to give a 3D pop out effect. In 
our case our subject was the speeding 
car. We want to make it appear as 
if it is coming out of the scenery. 

Once you have selected the 
subject, you may notice the selec- 
tion tending to go beyond your 
subject. Hold on to the Alt key and 
try to clear the excess selection. 

Step Two : Once the selection is 
made use Ctrl+ J to put the selected 
image onto its own layer. (Layer 1) 

Step Three : Select the background 
layer and click on the Rectangular 
Marquee Tool. Make a selection on 
the image, such that some portion of 
your subject is left outside the rectan- 
gular selection. This type of selection is 
will get the subject out of the selected 
rectangular frame to which we will add 
some more effects to give it a 3D look. 

After selecting the rectangular 
area, hit Ctrl+ J to put this new selec- 
tion on to its own layer. (Layer 2) 

Step Four : Now staying on the 
Layer 2 as above click on the FX icon 
to open the Layer Style Menu. Then 
select the Stroke menu which can 
be found at the bottom of the list. 

In the window that opens, 
keep the colour selected to white, 

increase the Size of pixel and 
keep Position on Inside. 

Go to the Outer Glow option 
in the Layer Style dialog box 
and increase Spread and Size. 
Keep the colour black. Blend Mode 
should be set to Mutiply. 

Step Five : After getting the frame 
around your subject select Layer 1. Go to 
FX icon > Drop Shadow. Apply the 
settings as seen in the Layers Style 
dialogue box on the previous page. 

Step Six : Select the background 
layer and fill it with white colour. Press 
D+Ctrl+Backspace. This is the final 
result as seen on the previous page. 

Colouring smoke in three 
quick steps 

Smoke photography is quite a hobby 
and you will find lots of groups who 
post photographs of smoke and their 
editing with it. Adding colour to smoke 
is just one of the many things you can 
do with smoke. Instead of having a flat 
monotone in the smoke, you can have a 
range of colours as we will tell you how. 

Step One : Take a photograph 
of image which has smoke element 
in it, such that the smoke is the 
main subject. Open a new file and 
drag your image file onto the new 
file, such that you have 2 layers. 

Step Two : Now go to Image > 
Adjustments > Gradient Map. 
Select the black to white transition 
map such that your image appears like 
any other black and white image. 

Step Three : Create a New Layer. 
Select Gradient Tool . Make your 
own preset in the Gradient Editor 
with the colours of your choice. The 
frame will be filled with the gradient 
colours. Select the Color mode for Layer 
2, which will result in the image below. 
Create a duplicate layer and add Soft 
Light effect for an enhanced image. CI 


The original image of the smoke 

Psychedelic smoke after post processing = 


Digit I December 2010 I 83 



Tips & Tricks 


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Speed up Office 

Some handy tips 
to speed up your 
Office experience 

Even before you begin using 
Microsoft Office, the best way 
to speed it up would be to 
clear the temp files on your 
system. If you are using Windows 7, go 
to Start > Run, type %temp% in the 
search bar and press Enter. XP users can 
go to Start >Run. In the text box type 
%temp%. Delete all the files that you see. 

Speed up the Help dialog 
box in Office 2007 and 2010 

The Help setting in Office 2007 and 
2010 is set to Online Help by 
default. This means that every 
time you need to refer to the 
Help guide, Microsoft Office will 
connect you to Online Help page. 
This might take a while if you 
have a slow internet connection 
and can be irritating when you 
are in a hurry to finish your work. 

There is a simple setting to 
fix this. Press Fl key in Word, 
a dialog box would appear. In 

nected to' or select 'Con- 
nected to Office Online' button in 
2007. Now click on "Show content only 
from this computer" from the menu. 

Block unnecessary add-ins 
from loading 

If MS Word takes way too long for 
start up then it maybe because it loads 
templates and other add-ins which 
you might never use. Blocking these 
would reduce the start-up time and 
your Word document would launch 
much faster. A quick way to do this is 
to move the start-up files that Word 
loads up each time, here's what you do. 
First you need to make sure that your 
hidden files are visible. Goto Tools > 
Folder Options > View. Under the 


k>A B C D E F G 















































= Office 2010 Click on the 'Con- 

Unnecessary data sets copied in Excel worksheet 

Hidden Folders and Files select 'Show 
hidden files, folders and drive'. Once 
your hidden folders are visible, follow 

this path C:\Documents and Set- 
tings\username\Application Data\ 
Microsof t\Word\STARTUP, from here 
move all the files which have a .dot 
extension to C: \Documents and Set- 
tings\username\Application Data\ 
Microsof t\Templates. The add-ins 
will not load at start up now. You can 
choose to put the .dot files back in its 
respective folder if the need arises. 

Get more undos 

Wouldn't it have been great if life had 
an unlimited Undo button? Only if the 
guys at Microsoft had designed it, we 
surely would have. Anyway, to clear the 
mistakes in your PowerPoint presenta- 


Shapes on this Sheet: 

Pkture 100 

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Contra/ 95 


Con fro/ 94 


Con fro/ 93 


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Selection Pane showing 100 items got 

tion with upto 150 undos this is what 
you do. Select the File tab in the 
ribbon. The Microsoft Office Back- 
stage View appears. Click the Options 
button. The PowerPoint Options 
dialog box appears. Click Advanced 
in the left pane. Underneath Editing 
options, next to Maximum number 
of undos, click the box and enter the 
maximum number of edits you wish 
PowerPoint to remember ie. from 3 to 
150. Click OK on the bottom-right of 
the dialog box to close it. Now you can 
afford to make a few more goof ups. 




Digit I December 2010 I 




Version Result EM 


^ 8 













































Select objects to remove using Ctrl+G 

Remove hidden and 
invisible objects 

Many a times while pasting objects in 
your Excel file you tend to paste some 
unwanted content as well. This may 
be unintentional, as we copy figures, 
text boxes, etc., from source without 
being aware that its copied on to your 
workbook. All the unnecessary data 









Move to edge of region 


Select current region 




Al Select Last cell in used range 


Select from active cell to last 
cell in used range 


Select from active cell to Al 

Ctrl+Page Down 

Move to the next sheet 

Ctrl+Page Up 

Move to the previous sheet 


Move to next open workbook 


Open new workbook 


Insert new worksheet 


Paste function window 


Insert new function 




Array formula 

Ctrl+F3, F3 

Define name, Paste name 




columns, Select rows 




Current date 


Current time 

copied makes your file heavier 
and increases its start up time. 
Fig.l shows a screenshot where 
a data set has 35 rows of data but 
only a few are visible. As you may 
notice that there is an image at the 
top left corner of the screenshot 
and some check boxes in column 
B which indicate that additional 
items were copied. Now, to make 
sure that any important data 
doesn't get deleted, the first step 
is to verify that you have addi- 
tional data pasted on your sheet 
which you are not going to use, you can 
do this by viewing the Selection Pane, 
to turn on the selection pane (on the 
Home Tab go to the Editing Chunk > 
Find Dropdown > Selection Pane 
option making the pane visible) looking 
at the Selection Pane you'll get to know 
the list of objects on the current sheet. 
If this list is empty 
then you do not have 
any additional items. 

The next step is 
to turn on the Design 
mode. If you do not have 
the Developer Tab vis- 
ible in the ribbon, you 
can enable it with the 
following steps: Office 
Button > Excel 
Options. Check the 
"Show Developer tab in 
the Ribbon" checkbox 
on the default Popular 
tab. You are now ready 
to select objects using 
the Go to Special dialog. 
To select all the objects 
in the box Ctrl+G to 
open the Go To dialog 

> Special button 

> Object. Click OK. 

The objects are all fitted now within 
their selection handles visible. Now all 
you have to do is to hit the Delete key to 
remove unwanted objects. Removing 
the objects will make your file smaller in 
size and it'll have better start up time. 

View two workbooks at the 
same time 

To save ourselves the trouble of viewing 
two Excel sheets back and forth, it's 
always efficient and easier if both the 
worksheets are aligned side by side, 
this makes the data-comparison easy. 
Excel has a built-in way with which you 
can view two workbooks at the same 
time. You can use this to avoid having 
to constantly check two Excel files or 
without the need to copy data from one 
workbook to the other. This is useful 
when you are comparing similar values 
or graphs between workbooks. Open 
both workbooks you want to compare 
side by side. Window > Compare Side 
by Side with [workbook2]. There are 
two options for viewing the data of the 
two workbooks you are now comparing 
Click 'Synchronous Scrolling' to scroll 

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Tips & Tricks 






Date Field 


Delete Back Word 


Delete Word 




Do Field Click 

CtrL+W or CtrL+F4 

Doc Close 


Doc Maximize 


Doc Move 


Doc Restore 


Doc Size 


Doc Split 

CtrL+Shift+D ^^^^^^ 

Double Underline 

ALt+Page Down 

End of Column 

ALt+Shift+Page Down 

End of Column 


End of Doc Extend 


End of Document 


End of Line 


End of Line Extend 


End of Row 


End of Row 

ALt+CtrL+Page Down 

End of Window 

ALt+CtrL+Shift+Page Down 

End of Window Extend 

through both documents at the same 
time. Uncheck independent scrolling. 
You can also reset the scrolling posi- 
tion to the starting position by clicking 
the button 'Reset Window Position'. 
When you are finished with your 
comparison, click Close Side by Side to 
return to the normal worksheet view. 

Rearrange paragraphs 

It's fairly easy to rearrange paragraphs 
in Word, this speeds up your work 
and all it takes is just three mouse 
clicks. All you have to is to select the 
paragraph you want to move by triple- 
clicking on it. Once you have selected 
the desired paragraph, click and hold 
your mouse button and drag it to the 
place where you would like the text to 
appear. Release the mouse button. 

Select text vertically 

Most of us know how to select text 
horizontally in Word, but many a 
times text aligned vertically needs 
to selected for reformatting. Here is 
a simple trick to help you out. Point 
the mouse pointer in front of the text 
you want to select, now press the Alt 
button while holding down the Alt 
button and select the text vertically. 

Transpose the contents of 
your table 

If you are one of those who use a lot 
of tables in your Word document, you 

might have felt the need 
to transpose the rows 
and columns which 
basically means that 
your rows become col- 
umns and the columns 
become rows. Inter- 
changing the two can 
prove to be quite useful 
and time efficient. 
Here's what you can do 

Create your table 
in MS Word. Select the 
entire table and copy 
it to the Clipboard. In 
MS Excel, use Paste 
Special to paste the 
table as text. Select the 
cells you would like 
to transpose. Click 
on Edit > Copy. 
Right-click on the upper left-hand 
corner of a range of empty cells that 
can accommodate the transposed 
result. Select Paste Special and check 
the transpose checkbox. Your values 
have been shifted and are now placed 
in their respective rows and columns. 

Turn off email notifications 

While working on an important assign- 
ment you suddenly receive an email 
message which eats up your time and 
does not let you progress further with 
your work. We all get tempted to look 
at our mail, distracting us from the 
work we were doing. To make sure 
your efficiency is not cut down you 
can choose to temporarily disable or 
turn off notifications in MS Outlook. 
This is what you can do Click on Tools 
> Options > E-mail Options > 
Advanced E-mail Options. In the 
middle of the dialog box, under When 
new items appear in my Inbox, clear 
the Display a New Mail, Desktop 
Alert check box. Click on OK. 

Sparklines in Excel 2010 

The Sparklines feature in Excel 2010 
is a very handy option when you have 
multiple columns of data to look at, 
Sparklines creates a visual breakup 
of the columns in form of bar graphs 
making it easier for you to look and 
understand the figures. It tracks and 
highlights the important data trends 

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Sparklines adds 
graph bars to your 

in a rather com- 
plex work sheet. 
Sparklines are 
mini-charts that you 
could place inside 
the cells along with 
the figures so that 
you can view the 
data and the chart 
on the same table. 
To create one, begin 
with a regular 
spreadsheet docu- 
ment, any Excel 
sheet with tabular 
numeric data can 
be used. Select the 
cells where you 
want the Sparklines 
to appear. You can 
choose to put it at 
the side of the table 
for easier viewing. Click the Insert 
menu from the ribbon then choose 
Column under the Sparklines group. 
Select or enter the range of cells that will 
be the source of the data for the charts. 
The charts should appear at the side 
of the table. You would now be able to 
glance at the trends of growth or decline. 
The ones in circles have growing 
trend. With proper use of Sparklines, 
data analysis and breakup is quicker 
and more direct and to the point. 

You now just need to look at the right 
most column to figure out the trends 
in this worksheet without spending 
hours minutely analyzing each figure. 

Zoom only selected cells 

Zooming only a part of your excel sheet 
certainly helps in acquiring only the 
required figures quickly. In order to 
select only a specific part on your excel 
sheet use the Selection option with 
Zoom. This option not only chooses 
just the right percentage to see the 
selection as large as possible, it also 
allows you to select the cells you would 
like to zoom in on. Select the range 
you would like to enlarge. Using the 
Zoom drop-down arrow, select View 

> Zoom > Fit selection. When 
you are finished, select 100% (or the 
appropriate percentage) from the Zoom 
control in the Toolbar or select Edit 

> Undo Zoom or click on Ctrl + Z. H 


Digit I December 2010 I 



Tips & Tricks 









""""""inimm „,nii«*»»* X *** 





[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [F4] 

Fast Forward 

[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [F3] 


Hold down [Ctrl] + [ 

Seek Back 

Hold down [Alt] + [ 

10X Seek Back 

Hold down [Ctrl] + ] 

Seek Forward 

Hold down [Alt] + ] 

10X Seek Forward 

[Ctrl] + Up arrow 

Volume Up 

[Ctrl] + Down arrow 

Volume Down 

[Ctrl] + [P] 


[Ctrl] + Left arrow 

Previous Clip 

[Ctrl] + Right arrow 

Next Clip 

[Ctrl] + [S] 




[Ctrl] + [R] 


[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [S] 

[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [E] 

Set record end point 




NumPad [1] to [9] 

Resize, aspect ratio (5 = default) 



[Ctrl] + Arrow left/right 

Jump forward/backward 5 sec 

[Alt] + Arrow Left/right 

Jump forward/backward 20 sec 

[Ctrl] + Arrow up/dwn 

Speed adjustment (x2/x4) 

NumPad [+] or [-] 

Audio delay +/- 

[Alt] + [Enter] 

Full screen 

Mouse Wheel / Arrow up/ 

Audio volume 

Moving a mouse to change a 

song can be irritating. Here 

are a list of essential keyboard 

shortcuts for all the popular 

media players out there, to help 

you speed up your entertainment. 




[Ctrl] + [0] (Oh) 

Open File(s) 

[Ctrl] + [U] 

Open URL ^^^^^^^^^^^ 

[Ctrl] + [F] 

Open Folder 

[Ctrl] + [J] 

Open File(s) for TV-Out 

[Ctrl] + [I] 

Open URL Extracted from IE 

[Ctrl] + [R] 

Open Recent File 

[Ctrl] + [P] 

Reopen after changing settings 

[Ctrl] + [M] 

Open WDM (TV) Device- 

[Ctrl] + [W] 

Open WDM (TV) as Default Device- 

[Ctrl] + [D] 

Open DVD Standard Device 

[Ctrl] + [V] 

Open DVD File 

[Ctrl] + [K] 

Open Video CD 


Playback info (on OSC) 

[Shift] + [Tab] 

Playback Message 

[Ctrl] + [Tab] 

Advanced Playback Info 

[Ctrl] + ['] 

Advanced Filter Info 

[Page Up] 



Play ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

[Ctrl] + [Z] 


[Page Down] 

Next ^^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

[Alt] + [G] 

Control Box 

[Alt] + [E] 




[Alt] + [F4] 



Half Size (50%) 


Normal Size (100%) 


One and a Half Size (150%) 


Double Size (200%) ^^^^^^ 


Full Screen (Normal) 


Full Screen (Stretch) 


FuLLScreen (Overscan) 


Maximize Window 


Desktop Mode 



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Digit I December 2010 I 




Tips & Tricks 




Skip backward by 10 


Fast forward by 10 


Switch to previous 

playList entry 

Switch to next playList 


Play or Pause 

Volume up 

Volume down 

Mute ^^^^^^^ 

Switch to fullscreen 


Quit VLC 

Mouse gesture 


Left-right or Right-left 


Up-down or Down-up 











Play faster 


Play Slower 




Next Item 


Previous Item 





[Shift] + Right Arrow 

Forward 3 seconds 

[Shift] + Left Arrow 

Backward 3 seconds 

[Alt] + Right Arrow 

Forward 10 seconds 

[Alt] + Left Arrow 

Backward 10 seconds 

[Ctrl] + [Q] 

Quit ^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

[Ctrl] + Up Arrow 

Volume up 

[Ctrl] + Down Arrow 

Volume down 

[Ctrl] + Right Arrow 

[Ctrl] + Left Arrow 

Backward 1 minute 

[Ctrl] + [R] 


[Alt] + [Ctrl] + [S] 

Video Snapshot 

[Ctrl] + [M] 

"DVD Menu" 

[Ctrl] + [P] 

Select Previous DVD Title 

[Ctrl] + [N] 

Select Next DVD Title 

[Ctrl] + [B] 


[Ctrl] + [P] 


[Ctrl] + [I] 

Stream, Media Info 

[Ctrl] + [S] 


[Ctrl] + [G] 

Extended GUI 


Shortcut Keys 


[Ctrl] + [0] (Oh) 

Open PlayList 

[Ctrl] + [S] 

Save PlayList 

[Alt] + [F3] 

View File Info 

[Ctrl] + [A] 

Select all file 


Open file location 

[Ctrl] + [L] 

Open URL ^^^^^^^^^^ 

[Shift] + [L] 

Open folder 

[Ctrl] + [Alt] + [I] 

Edit Bookmarks 

[Ctrl] + [Alt] + [B] 

Add current as bookmark 









[B] ^^— ^^— 


Left Arrow 

Back 5 second 

Right Arrow 

Forward 5 second 



[S] ^^^^^^ 


Up Arrow 

Volume up 

Down Arrow 

Volume down 

[Ctrl] + [V] ^^^| 

Stop after current play 

[Alt] + [S] 

Skin browser 

[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [K] 

Start/Stop visualization 

[Alt] + [K] 

Visualization setting 

[Ctrl] + [K] 

Select plug-ins 

[Alt] + [G] 


[Ctrl] + [T] 

Time elapse/remain 

[Ctrl] + [Alt] + [B] 

Always on top 

[Alt] + [E] 

PlayList Editor 

[Alt] + [V] 


[Alt] + [L] 

Media Library 

[Alt] + [X] 

Web Browser 

[Alt] + [C] 

Skin Settings 


Open Help 

[Ctrl] + [Fl] 

About Box 

[Ctrl] + [A] 

Always on top 

[Ctrl] + [W] 

Minimal view 

[Ctrl] + [D] 

Doublesize mode 

[Alt] + [W] 

Toggle main window 

[Alt] + [F] ^^^ 

Open main menu 

[Ctrl] + [J] 

Jump to time in current track 


Jump to file 

[Ctrl] + [Alt] + [N] 

Spawn new Winamp 

[Alt] + [M] 

Minimize Winamp 

[Ctrl] + [H] 

Played history 

[Shift] + [V] 

Stop with fadeout 

[Alt] + [Delete] 

Remove file from playList 

[Ctrl] + [F] 

Explore item folder 

[Ctrl] + [P] 


Global Hotkeys 

[Ctrl] + [X] 

Autofill portable device 

[Ctrl] + [E] 

Eject portable 

[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [SI 

Sync portable 

[Ctrl] + [Q] 

Quit ^^^^^^^^^^^^ 

[ctri] + [i] ^^m 

About Winamp 

[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [P] 

Copy file path 

[Ctrl] + [Shift] + [T] 

Copy title 


— ri 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 

Digit I December 2010 I 








NumPad [4] 

Seek back by 10 seconds 

[Ctrl] + NumPad [4] 

Seek back by 1 minute 

NumPad [6] 

Seek ahead by 10 seconds 

[Ctrl] + NumPad [6] 

Seek ahead by 1 minute 

NumPad [.] (or [Del]) 









[Shift] + [V] 


[Ctrl] + [P] 


[Ctrl] + [C] 

Copy Name (s) 

[Ctrl] + [A] 

Select All 

[Ctrl] + [Z] 


[Shift] + [Ctrl] + [Z] 




[Ctrl] + [F] 


[Alt] + [A] 

Always on Top 

NumPad [+] 

Volume up 

NumPad [-] 

Volume down 


Volume up 

[Shift] + [=] 

Volume up 


Volume down 

[Ctrl] + [Tab] 

Next Playlist 

[Shift] + [Ctrl] + [Tab] 

Previous Playlist 

[Ctrl] + [N] 

New Playlist 

[Ctrl] + [W] 

Remove Playlist 

[Ctrl] + [F4] 

Remove Playlist 

[Ctrl] + [0] (Oh) 

Open ... 

[Ctrl] + [S] 

Save Playlist ... 

[Ctrl] + [U] 

Add Location ... 





[Alt] + [1] 

Zoom to 50% 

[Alt] + [2] 

Zoom at 100% 

[Alt] + [3] 

Zoom to 200% 

[Alt] + [Enter] 

Toggle display for full-screen video 

[Alt] + Left Arrow 

Retrace your steps back through 
your most recent views in the Player 

[Alt] + Right Arrow 

Retrace your steps forward through 
your most recent views in the Player 

[Ctrl] + [1] 

Switch to full-screen mode 

[Ctrl] + [2] 

Switch to skin mode 

[Ctrl] + [7] 

Switch to the first view in a media 
category after Recently Added (such 
as Artist in Music) 

[Ctrl] + [8] 

Switch to the second view in a media 
category after Recently Added (such 
as Album in Music) 

[Ctrl] + [9] 

Switch to the third view in a media 
category after Recently Added (such 
as Songs in Music) 

[Ctrl] + [B] 

Previous (item or chapter) 

[Ctrl] + [E] 

Put the focus on the search box in 
the library 

[Ctrl] + [F] 

Next (item or chapter) 

[Ctrl] + [H] 

Turn shuffle on or off 

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+ [J] 

Eject CD or DVD (note that this does 
not work on computers equipped 
with two or more CD or DVD disc 


+ [M] 

In full mode, show or hide the Clas- 
sic Menus (menu bar) 


+ [N] 

Create a new playlist 


+ [0] 

Open a file 


+ [P] 

Play or pause playing 


+ [Q] 

Add selected item to sync List 


+ [S] 

Stop playing 


+ m 

In audio playback, turn repeat on 
or off 


+ [U] 

Specify a URL or path to a file 


+ [W] 

Close or stop playing a file 


+ [Shift] + 


Rewind video 


+ [Shift] + 


Turn captions and subtitles on or off 


+ [Shift] + 


Fast forward through video or music 


+ [Shift] + 


Use a fast play speed 


+ [Shift] + 


Play at normal speed 


+ [Shift] + 


Use a slow play speed 


Return to full mode from full screen 


Display Windows Media Player Help 


Edit media information on a selected 
item in the library 


Add media files to the library 


Switches the view of items in the 
Details pane using the options avail- 
able with the View Options button 


Refresh information in the panes 


Increase the size of album art 


+ [F6] 

Decrease the size of album art 


Mute the volume 


Decrease the volume 


Increase the volume 


Show the Classic Menus (menu bar) 


Switch to full-screen mode 



Digit I December 2010 I 89 



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We came out with our own list 
of tech flops back in November 
last year. Check out Mashable's 
list of 9 Notable Tech Flops 
complete with video footage for 
each device: 


A company called Gravity 
recently launched a service 
that attempts to chart out your 
interests and create an interest 
graph that will eventually help 
you personalise the web for 


With most real time and relevant 
data being served up on sites 
like Twitter, Facebook and other 
social media, is it time for a 
new Google-like 'Social Web 


From early reports that 
announced the death of other 
operating systems, the project 
seems to have gone into hiding. 
Read this report on ZDnet to find 
out what's happening.. 

News Corp is taking the iPad very seriously as a new way to 
distribute the news and have gone on a hiring spree of epic 
proportions in an effort to create a new iPad only digital pub- 
lication. They taking on journalists as well as engineers on 
loan from Apple. In this feature TechCrunch looks at what a 
newspaper of the future should have 








A Distracting Article About Digital 

How do you read online nowadays? 
A few hundred words and you post a 
tweet, a few more and you share it on 
Facebook, a few thousand further and 
some notification or the other pops up! 

Point and shoot cameras commit suicide 
A 1 megapixel, point and shoot is superior 
when compared to a phone camera. 
Smartphones are always connected. Point 
& shoots never are. Read on for a stats 
enhanced account of the death of this 
enhanced species. 

Facebook's Modern Messaging 

"This is not an email killer. This is a 
messaging experience that includes 
email as one part of it," Zuckerberg said 
at the launch of Facebook email. A killer 
this is not. Read on to find out more 

Digit I December 2010 I 9. 




A new breed of multimedia 
scientists are emerging. 


Just kidding. What you should 
know about though is the 
brand new social browser 
called Rockmelt that's 
creating waves in Silicon Valley 
(California). It's invitation based 
only right now, but looks very 
promising in the social space. 


From the creator of Dilbert to 
Steve Jobs, take a sneak peek 
into the private workspaces 
of these famous people. Who 
knows, maybe you could pick up 
a tip or two and have your own 
'famous workspace' featured in 
this space in the future. 



Facebook not 
as appealing 

. ^ ^** Breaches in 

privacy not 

your cup of tea? Want to break 

free without losing all your 


How Many Cores Is Too Many? 

- By Matthew Murray 


Copyright © 2010 
Ziff Davis Publishing 
Holdings Inc. 

Ever since the first dual- and quad-core 
CPUs were released several years ago, 
the procedure for buying processors 
has involved counting the number of cores 
in the CPU, counting the number of dollars 
in your wallet, and then doing your best to 
match up the values. After all, chips that 
haven't been overclocked haven't gotten much 
faster than 3.3 GHz or 3.4 GHz, so despite a 
bit of variance here and there, you've gener- 
ally been able to feel secure that the more 
cores your CPU contained, the faster it would 
perform overall. 

This has been acceptable thinking up until 
now— after all, it's only this year, with the 
release of Intel's Core i7-980X and Core i7-970 
and AMD's Phenom II X6 series (including 
the 1090T, the 1055T, and the!075T), that 



the number of cores on consumer CPUs has 
outgrown what you can count using just the 
fingers on one hand. But technology never 
stops advancing, and some recent research is 
showing that current advice to buy the most 
cores you can afford may not remain practical 
for much longer. 

A group of MIT researchers are pre- 
senting a paper today at the USENIX Sym- 
posium on Operating Systems Design and 
Implementation in Toronto, titled "An Anal- 
ysis of Linux Scalability to Many Cores," that 
details research about how very large num- 
bers of cores affect processing performance. 
The paper may deal with Linux specifically, 
but it's a helpful reminder to everyone about 
the challenges facing hardware and software 
design in today's computing world— and how 
important it is that these problems get solved 

The problem, according to the 
researchers, starts appearing with systems 
bearing numbers of cores in the dozens. They 
built a system in which eight six-core chips 
effectively mimicked one 48-core chip, then 
observed what happened in a lengthy series 
of tests. The large number of cores may have 
made for a blazing-fast system, but it was still 
slower than it should have been. The reason? 
This story from MITnews explains: 

In a multicore system, multiple cores 
often perform calculations that involve the 
same chunk of data. As long as the data is still 
required by some core, it shouldn't be deleted 
from memory. So when a core begins to work 
on the data, it ratchets up a counter stored at a 
central location, and when it finishes its task, 
it ratchets the counter down. The counter 
thus keeps a running tally of the total number 

of cores using the data. When the tally gets 
to zero, the operating system knows that it 
can erase the data, freeing up memory for 
other procedures. 

As the number of cores increases, how- 
ever, tasks that depend on the same data get 
split up into smaller and smaller chunks. 
The MIT researchers found that the separate 
cores were spending so much time ratcheting 
the counter up and down that they weren't 
getting nearly enough work done. 

According to the paper, the problems were 
often to due to issues with cache: 

Many scaling problems manifest them- 
selves as delays caused by cache misses 
when a core uses data that other cores have 
written. This is the usual symptom both for 
lock contention and for contention on lock- 
free mutable data. The details depend on 
the hardware cache coherence protocol, but 
the following is typical. Each core has a data 
cache for its own use. When a core writes 
data that other cores have cached, the cache 
coherence protocol forces the write to wait 
while the protocol finds the cached copies 

94 Digit I December 2010 I 






In it^Hnaphir (ale 


The highest point on planet Earth has 
now gone 3G. The mobile operator 
Ncell in Nepal has made this move to 
cater to the 30,000+ tourists that the 
peak attracts every year. The race is 
on: wonder who is going to become the 
mayor of the mountain by checking in 
to Foursquare first. 


A new age look at how the next generation 
is growing up in a world that is now 
smaller than ever and where learning 
online is probably more productive than 
sitting in a classroom. With technology 
thrown into the mix of peer pressure and 
homework, how are the young-lings of the 
Google-age coping? 

and invalidates them. When a core reads data 
that another core has just written, the cache 
coherence protocol doesn't return the data 
until it finds the cache that holds the modified 
data, annotates that cache to indicate there is 
a copy of the data, and fetches the data to the 
reading core. These operations take about the 
same time as loading data from off-chip RAM 
(hundreds of cycles), so sharing mutable data 
can have a disproportionate effect on per- 

The conclusion, according to the MIT- 
news story, is that "[s]lightly rewriting the 
Linux code so that each core kept a local 
count, which was only occasionally synchro- 
nized with those of the other cores, greatly 
improved the system's overall performance." 
But will what works for modern-day Linux, 
and other operating systems, also work when 
the number of cores goes up even more? Past 

... - - .. 



f II •■" ■ i iS 

48, according to one of the researchers, "new 
architectures and operating systems may 
become necessary" 

Software and Hardware 

It would seem that Intel and AMD are 
already working on separate ways to meet 

this challenge. As this Conceiva- story says: 

Intel has said in the past that, 
beyond 16 cores, it appears that much 
of the performance gain efficiency 
from the pure addition of cores may 
be gone and improving software that 
takes advantages of these cores may 
become much more important. That 
appears to be still true and we are 
actually seeing both processor makers 
buying themselves some time with the 
strategy of integrating GPUs into the 
processor package, which will provide 
a path to cost savings, but also a way 
to increase overall application speed 
as far as floating-point performance is 

This has particularly applicability to 
Intel's recently announced next-generation 
processor microarchitecture, 
Sandy Bridge, which includes 
design features specifically 
aimed at helping it scale to 
machines with large num- 
bers of cores. And AMD's 
| own upcoming Fusion APUs, 
which seem intended to 
fully consummate the mar- 
riage that began when AMD 
acquired video powerhouse 
ATI a few years back, repre- 
sent another step in the process.. 
But will the software be ready? 
That's another question alto- 
gether. Years after two- and four-core CPUs 
became commonplace in the market, even 
popular software apps were struggling to 
take full advantage of their capabilities. We've 
worked with some popular apps in our lab 
tests that profess multicore support, but don't 
show significant performance improvements 
when run on a six-core chip as compared to 

a quad-core CPU with a similar clock speed. 
Things have gotten better in this area just 
over the last year and a half or so, but there's 
still a long way to go. So we're a little skep- 
tical that software development will keep 
pace with the available hardware. (That it 
rarely has since the inception of the personal 
computing industry some 30-odd years ago 
makes it seem likely the trend will continue.) 
Of course, there are lots of questions 
about this whole situation it's still too early 
to answer. Chief among them: Is 48 cores 
simply too many for any application, because 
the amount of time reassembling all the indi- 
vidual pieces of work will cancel out any ben- 
efit you may have gotten from doing them all 
at the same time? We have to hit that ceiling 
sometime— and if we're near it, how much of 
a difference can the software make, whether 
it's Linux, Windows, or anything else? 
In that case, we'll need even more inventive 
solutions to keep increasing performance. 
Let's hope that hardware and software com- 
panies alike are keeping that in mind as well, 
even as they're working to maximize the per- 
formance they can derive from systems with 
48— or even six— cores. 

Digit I December 2010 I 91 





Did you know you can do 
something known as a 
"super log out" on Facebook? 
It's not a feature, but rather 
a hack. Harvard fellow and 
PhD Danah Boyd talks about 
'Risk Reduction Strategies' 
on Facebook. 


A look into the world that will 
be should the publishers stop 
printing books. Not only will 
it spell the death of the public 
library, but would also mark the 
coming of a new age in the digital 
realm where the less privileged 
will be the ones who choose not 
to adopt digital media. 


The Microsoft Kinect is 
opening Pandora's box for 
hackers worldwide. Check out 
some of the cool stuff they 
have done already! 


This is a call to arms to all 
users of the Internet! The 
world wide web, much like a 
democracy represents freedom 
to it's users who cannot be 
strong armed into submission. 
Not if the big corporations have 
their way though. So let's all 
join hands and fight for our new 
birth right! 

Fusion vs. Sandy Bridge: 
The Pregame Report 

By Matthew Murray 


Copyright © 2010 
Ziff Davis Publishing 
Holdings Inc. 

Everything you know about PCs 
is going to change in 2011. That's 
because AMD and Intel, the two 
largest and most influential processor 
makers, are set to shatter the final remaining 
barriers between the CPU and the GPU with 
their upcoming products. AMD's Fusion and 
Intel's Sandy Bridge will unite processing and 
graphics on the same silicon die for the first 
time ever. Both companies are claiming that 
this will yield outstanding performance and 
power benefits, as well as improve the quality 
of integrated graphics. 

So the question becomes: What are the dif- 
ferences between Fusion and Sandy Bridge? 
Neither has yet been released to the public, so 
it's still difficult to cut through all the hype, 

rumors, and halfway- acknowledged specs 
and arrive at the most salient facts. Luckily, 
both AMD and Intel have released enough 
information about their upcoming platforms 
to give us at least a speculative idea of what 
the future holds. We still have a lot to learn 
about both Fusion and Sandy Bridge, but 
whatever the cold realities, they could rep- 
resent two of the most important technology 
marriages we've seen in years. 

How They're the Same 

General audience. This could change in 
the future— in fact, we expect it to— but to 
start with, Fusion and Sandy Bridge have 
very modest aspirations. Both are primarily 
targeting budget and mainstreamdesktop 
and laptop users, rather than the gamers 
and enthusiasts that are usually the earliest 
beneficiaries of major technology develop- 
ments. The reason is simple: The union of 

Out of Order 

processing and graphics is still so young 
that the integrated GPU won't be able to 
deliver the blistering performance power 
users demand. (AMD, for example, is 
claiming that its inaugural Fusion acceler- 
ated processing units, or APUs, will deliver 
video on par with its ATI Radeon HD 5450 
card— its lowest-level discrete offering from 
the previous generation.) Capabilities may 
someday increase to the point that bleeding- 
edgers will be satisfied, but for now they'll 
want to hang on to their standalone cards. 
Improved technologies and waste 
reduction. Though AMD's and Intel's spe- 
cific approaches differ, both companies are 

96 Digit I December 2010 I 





Will Apple do a repeat performance of 
1984 where the Macintosh shot to stardom 
and then failed miserably after or will 
the iPhone continue to hold it's own and 
tease consumers for generations to come? 
An interesting read for those in need of 
a refresher history lesson and how the 
time that was compares to the twenty first 
century we live in today. 


AMD talked about 48 cores'? Big 
whoop! Intel touts the ability to scale 
their processors up to 1,000 cores. No 
kidding! Now we can't possibly fathom 
why there is a even a need for such 
a computing beast to materialise but 
who are we to stop technology from 
taking an evolutionary leap? 


According to some numbers 
Samsung's bada smartphone 
operating system is the most 
successful launch of a new mobile OS 
since the original iPhone. It has now 
claimed 1.3 million users, or 2 percent 
of the worldwide smartphone market 
already. Read on to find out more... 

rethinking and streamlining the processing 
process. Both improve branch prediction 
and out-of-order instruction execution, 
introduce new sets of instructions, and 
minimize the amount of over-processing 
required to complete certain tasks. Optimi- 
zations like these are common in almost every 
major refresh, but AMD and Intel seem to 
be aligning particularly closely this time. 
Media processing. The proliferation of digital 
cameras and the explosion of HD content in 
the last few years have thrust digital photog- 
raphy and videography out of the niche mar- 
kets and directly into the mainstream. This 
means that AMD and Intel had to address 
how well their chips handled media chores. 
Both companies have built into their solu- 
tions advanced hardware for dealing with 
common concerns: Intel has loaded Sandy 
Bridge with dedicated hardware accelera- 
tors, niters, and rendering engines; AMD is 
deploying in Fusion the third-generation ver- 
sion of its Unified Video Decoder (the same 
that's being used in its new 6000-series video 

Power savings. Fusion and Sandy 

Bridge mark 
another major 
sea change in 
the way proc- 
essors are con- 
ceived: These 
are being built 
for laptops first. 
That's not to say 
the desktop ver- 
sions won't be 
more powerful 
or offer special 
features, but 
both AMD and 
Intel are touting 
their solutions' effects on power usage and 
battery life— two things almost always of 

sales rates, this is a smart move that ensures 
on-the-go machines won't be hobbled by 
future developments. 

How They're Different 

DirectX. One of the key features of the Fusion 
graphics hardware is support for Microsoft's 
most advanced set of multimedia APIs, 
DirectX 11 (DX11). DX11 offers a number of 
visual benefits to users, most notably around 
a technique called tessellation that piles on 
the polygons to achieve 3D graphics that look 
smoother and more detailed than any have 
before. Sandy Bridge, however, will be sup- 
porting the previous standard, DXlO.l. There 
are very few (if any) DXll-only games today, 
so this isn't likely to be a big demerit, but 
AMD's support is definitely more current. 
They're not com- 





GPU Sub-Syfltftmft 


k 4 








more concern to mobile users. Because lap- 
tops have finally eclipsed desktops in terms of 

peting... yet. AMD's 
first Fusion chips, in 
the "Zacate" (high- 
performance) and 
"Ontario" (ultra-low- 
power) families, are 
intended for sub- 
$500 laptops, net- 
books, nettops, and 
all-in-ones, and there 
won't immediately 
be facing off against 
Intel's more powerful 
mainstream solu- 
tions. AMD will even- 
tually expand Fusion 
up its line, but it won't 
start hitting desktops, 
for example, until the 
middle of next year; 
Sandy Bridge desk- 
tops and notebooks will hit much earlier 
than that. 





Digit I December 2010 I 9' 




you have 
a rock, 


heard of the popular 
game 'Angry Birds' 
that has been wrecking 
productivity across 
the globe. Well, in 
an effort to get you 
guys back to work, 
here they are trying 
to settle their differ- 
ences across the table. 








Windows Phone 7 smart- 
phones are all extremely 
similar, but the Samsung 
Omnia 7 manages to stick out 
thanks to its Super AMOLED 
display and excellent design. 
If you're in the market for a 
WP7 smartphone, the Omnia 
7 should top your list. 



LG unveiled this gorgeous 
Windows 7 tablet only in 
Korea. Powered by an 
Intel AtomZ510 or Z530 
processor, with 1GB of 
RAM, a 16GB SSD, Wi-Fi 
b/g/n, Bluetooth, and an 
SD card slot. No word on 
pricing yet. 

What can we say, we love 
all things tech! Volkswagen 
Group recently launched this 
speed demon in India and 
we're excited. The 987bhp 
supercar that touches 407 
kmph top speed can do 
0-100 in 2.7 seconds. Price? 
A whopping ?16 crore. 





With our new 
World View 
we're trying 
- to expose 
you to more 
tional stories 
and culture. 
Instead of just a 
list, we hand-pick the stories 
we think you'd like. However, 
in order to ensure that we're 
doing a good enough job, 
we'd love to hear your feed- 
back and comments. 


Send in your feedback to 


I 1 











I. Japanese operator brings 3G to India 

4. Manufacturer of PIC in line follower robot 
8. Overwriting contents stored in the ROM 
10. Open source social networking 

platform that originates from 


II. 4G also known as 



2. 4chanvs. ? 

3. Fuel cell manufacturer from 

5. Panasonic's 3D TVs are made 
using this technology 

6. Google's android development software 

7. Permissions gained when a Linux 
user keys in "su" 

8. Mid range category of phones 
(Hint digit 101) 

9. D3100, D3000, D5000, D300, D3 


Make sure your boss doesn't catch you goofing off with 
one of these playing on your PC screen 

Duration: 3m 18s 

Astronaut Scott Kelly, shows 
off the International Space 
Station's observation deck 
known as the cupola. 

Duration: 4m 57s 

Check out this cool com- 
parison video between the two 
competing gaming consoles. 
What's on your shopping list? 

Duration: 3m 19s 

Vint Cerf, the father of the 
internet talks about all things 
digital and how the year 2020 
may shape out for us. 



Icons of Trust 

Concluding part of Icons of 
Trust 2010 


Nokia N8 power issues 

NikLas Savander, Exec. Vice President for Nokia, acknowledged that 
N8 was facing power issues and claimed that Nokia has found and 
fixed the source of the problem 


ASUS EAH6870 and EAH6850 DirectCU 

AMD's Radeons hit 6000 

AMD 6850 


Vinay Shetty (ASUS) 
Phone: +91-22-6766 8800 
Web site: 

The month of 
November has been 
an exciting one for 
PC gamers all over. 
AMD launched their Radeon 
6000 series while NVIDIA 
followed with the GTX580. We 
received a stock AMD Radeon 
HD6850. ASUS sent us their 
overclocked version of the 
6850 - EAH6850 DirectCU 
and also a Radeon 6870 card. 
The Radeon HD6850 comes 
in to replace the Radeon 5850, 
which happens to be a more 
expensive card. ASUS has 
gone with a custom cooler 
on their EAH6850 card. The 
stock design has an enclosure 
that covers the entire card. A 
similar design can be found 
on the Radeon HD6870 card, 
which is a slightly larger card 
than the Radeon 6850. 

In terms of specifications 
and numbers on paper, the 
Radeon 6850 and Radeon 
6870 should be faster. The 
Radeon 6870 runs at a high 915 

MHz, while the 6850 runs at 
a slower 775 MHz. The ASUS 
EAH6850 DirectCU runs at 
a slightly higher 790 MHz. 

When it comes to perform- 
ance, the statistics don't convert 
to mind boggling numbers. The 
cards are a tiny bit slower than 
their predecessors. When com- 
pared with each other, the stock 
AMD Radeon 6850 perform 
more or less 10 to 15 per cent 
slower than the ASUS Radeon 
6870. The overclocked ASUS 
Radeon 6850, on the other 
hand, does a much better job. 
At times, it lags just slightly 
behind the ASUS Radeon 6870. 
This still means that you get 
playable frame rates across all 
the graphics intensive games. 
We ran our benchmarks with 
4x FSAA and the highest 
possible quality settings. The 
scores are presented in the table 
below. Drop the settings by a 
little bit and you'll see better 
frame rates. 

What AMD brings to the 

table is much more afford- 
able hardware that has slower 
power requirements and run 
much cooler. Pricing for the 
stock Radeon 6850 is ^13,000 
whereas the overclocked ASUS 
EAH6850 DirectCU is just 
^500 more. The slightly faster 
ASUS EAH6870 is way more 
expensive. It sells at an MRP of 

As of now, the overclocked 
ASUS Radeon 6850 is the card 
to go for. It offers great value 
for money. If market prices 
are closer to ^11,000, it's even 
better. The card is faster than 
the stock GeForce GTX460. 
For those who were planning 
on getting the Radeon 5850, 
the 6850 is a cheaper alter- 
native by far. With a slightly 
overclock, it may be possible 
to match the 5850's perform- 
ance. The EAH6870 is slightly 
faster than the Radeon 5850, 
but only go for it if you can 
buy it for under ^14,500 in 
the market. 







Radeon HD6850 

EAH6850 DirectCU 






Core Clock (MHz) 




Memory Clock (MHz) 




Memory size (MB) 




3D Mark Vantage 




3D Mark Vantage (GPU 





Crysis Warhead (1680 > 

1050, DX 10, Enthusiast) 




STALKER Clear Sky (Day, 1680 > 
DX10, Extreme) 

c 1050, 4xAA, 




Far Cry 2 (1680 x 1050, 

Ultra High, 4xAA) 












Build Quality 




Value for Money 








Digit I December 2010 I 99 


Tried & tested 


Windows 7 Tablet launched 

LG has Launched a Windows 7 based tablet named E-Note 
H1000B in Korea featuring Atom Z510 processor, 1 GB RAM and 
16 GB SSD storage 

Kinect controller hacks 

A computer scientist has used a Microsoft Kinect 
controller to create a holographic video 

Garmin Asus Aio 

Your navigational companion and also a phone 

Coming in an all black 
body, the 3.2 inch 
capacitive touchscreen 
phone - Garmin Asus 
AIO - has a slight rubberised 
finish which gives a good grip. 
The AIO is runs on a 600 MHz 
Qualcomm processor and comes 
with a skinned Android 2.1 OS. 
It comes with seven default home 
screens. The first screen is the 
Garmin navigation page with 
options to view a map, browse 
places of interest around etc. 
Navigation apps like Where Am 
I? and Where To Go? are quite 
nifty and really helpful in sim- 
plifying your journey. Pre-loaded 
maps in the phone is a huge plus. 
Call clarity was good in Zone 1 and 

2. Media playback 
was decent but you 
will definitely want 
to invest in a decent 
set of earphones if 
you are a big music 
enthusiast. The 5 
MP camera clicked 
great photographs 
outdoors in daylight, 
but absence of flash 
rears its ugly head 
when it comes to 
indoor and low light 
shooting. We liked 
the geo-tagging fea- 
ture present in the camera options. 
Battery life of the device was 
something of a worry, if you have 
GPS activated. On a full charge it 

did not seem to last 
more than 6 hours. 
Another cause of 
worry was the con- 
stant hanging of 
the phone. It takes 
atleast a minute to 
start up though. 
The phone is priced 
at a competitive 
^18,990. But with 
certain flaws like 
hanging, long start 
up time, poor bat- 
tery life and absence 
of flash, we feel 
that it should lower. Wonderful 
product to have for someone who 
is a travel buff and does a lot of 
long drives. 


OS : Android 2.1; Pre-loaded 
maps; Screen : 3.2-inch 
capacitive; Camera : 5MP; 
Battery : 1500mAh 


Garmin Asus 

Phone: 1800 209 0365 


Web site: wwwgarminasus. 


Price: ^18,990 

Features 7.5 

Performance 6.0 

Build Quality 6.5 

Value for money 6.0 


OS : Android 2.2; 

Screen : 3.2 inches 320 x 

480 pixels; Battery : 1500 

mAh; Camera : 3MP 


LG India 

Phone: NA 



Web site: wwwlgmobiles. 


Price: ?13,000 


Features 6.5 

Performance 7.0 

Build Quality 7.0 

Value for money 7.0 

LG Optimus One 

Value for money Froyo 

Among the low/mid- 
range Android 
devices in the 
market, the LG 
Optimus One P500 stands out for 
its up-to-date OS (Froyo), snappy 
performance, and bundled apps. 
Built solidly, the 3.2-inch screen 
has a wide bezel, below which 
lie the Android buttons, with 
home and return grouped on a 
single large centre button, with 
options and search beside it on 
separate buttons. The Android 
buttons have a solid tactility to 
them, and the volume rocker and 
power/lock button, curved, are 
ergonomically located and pro- 
vide crispy feedback. 

The 600MHz CPU is surpris- 
ingly snappy, barely showing any 
lag even when running several 
third party and native apps, and 

this is undoubtedly 
where the phone's 
512MB RAM and 
Froyo (a much 
speedier OS) make 
it shine over most 
of its competitors, 
including the Galaxy 
3. Slight lag is felt 
from the moment 
when one clicks the 
call button to the 
time it takes for the 
calling begin, occur- 
ring when plenty of 
apps are hogging the 

It did not drop any calls during 
our testing. The device earpiece 
volume was sufficient, but could 
have been louder. Call clarity is 
good in both handset and hands- 
free mode. Slight banding can 

be seen in certain 
videos. Both Xvid 
and DivX are sup- 
ported, and in our 
testing, almost all 
the videos played 
flawlessly, except 
for some stuttering 
with some AVI files. 
Picture sharp- 
ness, colour accu- 
racy (slight red hue), 
and noise levels are 
all quite good for a 
3MP camera. Under 
low light, with no 
flash onboard, quite a lot of noise 
is evident 

Only real compromises a buyer 
has to make for getting Android 
2.2 at roughly ^13,000 are the 
flashless camera and the lack of 
free Office document editing. 


Digit I December 2010 I 


Bold 9780 stars selling in India 

The Latest phone from BLackBerry - Bold 9780 has started 
selling in India at a price of around ?26,900 


The Daily on iPad 

Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., is soon to unveil a digital 
newspaper exclusively for the iPad called The Daily 


Nikon D3100 

Compelling offer for entry level DSLR seekers 

The successor to the 
Nikon D3000 is 
here, with additional 
features like a 14MP 
CMOS sensor, live view mode 
and full HD recording. Aestheti- 
cally the D3100 looks similar to 
the D3000 as far as the front por- 
tion is concerned, but there are a 
few enhancements. For starters 
we really like the sturdy rubber 
grip which lacks the infrared 
sensor. On the top portion just 
beside the jog dial, you have a 
lever to toggle between drive 
modes. There is a spring loaded 
lever on the top right hand side 
of the 3 inch screen, which enters 
the camera in the live-view mode. 
One thing we would have 
liked is a dedicated button to 
change ISO levels. On the left 
hand side there is an additional 


Sensor : 12.2 MP CMOS; 

Optical Zoom : 5x; Video 

resolution : 1080i; LCD 

: 3.5 inch touchscreen 


Sony India 


Email: sonyindia. 

Web site: 

Price: ^21,990 


Features 7.5 

Performance 6.5 

Build Quality 7.0 

Value for money 5.5 

button which allows 

you to change 

the camera 




to go into 
the menu 
- giving 
nail size 
images to 
put the func 
tion in context 
specially in WB modes - which 
is nice. Customisable function 
button below the active flash 
button does allow you to program 
it to either one for the four - image 
size, ISO, white balance or Active 
D lighting options. 

Picture quality is quite good 
with crisp colours. Outdoor pho- 

tography in daylight 
did not throw up 
any issues. The 
LCD was 
in sunlit 
tions. Low 
light per- 
was quite 
impressive. Even 
on pictures taken on ISO 3200, 
we noticed very little noise - a 
definite plus. Focussing is snappy 
thanks to the focus assist lamp 
in the front. The HD recording 
feature was decent. But we like 
auto-focus while live recording. 
The D3100 is priced at ^32,950 
(with the 18-55mm lens) which is 
a very good price for this entry 
level DSLR. 

Sony DSC TX9 

Goodness of 3D in your pocket 

TX9 is a 12.2 MP 
camera which is 
capable of shooting 
3D still images. The 
surprising part is that unlike 
other 3D cameras that we have 
seen, which sport dual lenses 
(to capture the left and right 
eye image) for 3D capture, the 
TX9 does that with a single lens. 
This is possible with the help of 
sweeping the camera from left 
to right, which covers the image 
from the perspective of both the 
eyes. The camera then merges 
those images to give you a three 
dimensional image. User inter- 
face is quite easy to navigate 
through. You have around eight 
shooting modes including a 3D 

shooting mode, Superior 
Auto Adjustment mode - 
which will click a burst 
of four to six images and 
then auto correct them for noise 
or other fallacies to give one 
clean image. 

Image quality was quite crisp 
in daylight as well as under low 
lighting conditions. Touch- 
screen is quite responsive and 
we did not find any lag, though 
it is a finger print magnet. Visi- 
bility in bright sunlit conditions 
is not bad. The 3D shooting 
mode is useless unless you have 
a 3D TV to view the image. The 
3D Sweep Multi angle mode is 
quite impressive as it gives you 
an idea of the depth in an image 


Sensor : 14MP CMOS sensor; 
LCD screen : 3 inches TFT 
LCD; Auto Focus : 11 pt auto 
focus; ISO : 100 to 3200 
(boost upto 12800); Movie 
format : MOV, H.264 


Nikon India Pvt. Ltd. 

Phone: 1800-102-7346 

Email: nindsup- 

Web site: 

Price: ^32,950 (^27,250 

- only body) 

Features 7.0 

Performance 7.5 

BuiLd Quality 7.5 

Value for Money 7.0 

by tilting the 
camera on the left and right 
in the review mode due to the 
gyro sensor. TX9 can shoot HD 
videos at 1080i resolution. The 
video output was much better 
outdoors in brightly lit condi- 

At a price point of ^21,990, 
the TX9 is targeted at premium 
users. An ideal buy for those 
who indulge in a lot of pano- 
ramic shooting as the stitching 
of images happens within the 
camera. Do not buy it purely 
fior its 3D shooting mode. 

Digit I December 2010 I 101 


Tried & tested 


PlayStation Phone in February? 

Reliance And Tata hold talks with to Launch first Apple 
iPhone CDMA phone in India 

Nokia X5 in India 

Nokia X5, the slide-out QWERTY phone having a 2.36- 
inch screen, 5MP camera with LED flash and one year 
of unlimited mucjh from the Ovi store 

ZOTAC GeForce GTX580 

Green Company's monster inches forward 

NVIDIA response to 
AMD, the GeForce 
GTX580 has been 
out and ZOTAC 
sent us across their card for 
review earlier last month. 

The GeForce GTX580 looks 
almost identical to the older 
GeForce GTX480. Internally, 
there are improvements to the 
cooler. The GTX580 GPU has 
512 CUDA cores and runs 
at 772MHz and 1.5GB 
of GDDR5 memory. 
On the rear end of 
the card, there are 
two DVI ports and a 
mini-HDMI port. The card's 
power consumption peaks at 
244W and it get that power 
through a 8-pin and a 6-pin 
power connector. 
All the upgraded specs 


Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR, 
Built-in Li-ion battery 


Priya Rustogi 


Email: priya.rustogi@ 

Web site: www. 

Price: ^5,499 

means that the performance has 
improved. The ZOTAC GeForce 
GTX580 gave a 3DMark Van- 
tage score of 22,817 Perform- 
ance at resolutions of around 
1920x1200 show great results. 
It doesn't match up to 
the Radeon 5970 
either, which 


GPU card. 

The perform- 

' ance improvements 

over the GTX480 range 

to from 10 to 20 per cent. So in 

totality, the GTX580 isn't miles 

ahead of the GTX480 as some 
might have expected. In fact, it 
feels like an improvement, just 
like the GeForce 9 series was 
somewhat of an optimization of 
the GeForce 8. Power require- 
ments are slightly lower and 
operating temperatures seem 


^ The ZOTAC GeForce 
GTX580 sells for 
^31,000. The bundle 
includes a Prince of 
Persia - The Forgotten Sands 
game. At that price, it's a little 
more than the GTX480. It's 
appropriately priced if you 
compare the performance with 
the GTX480. If you're building 
an extreme high-end gaming 
rig, it's worth considering two 
of these cards for SLI. A single 
card should suffice for a gaming 


GeForce GTX580 
Core Speed: 772 MHz 
CUDA Cores: 512 
Memory: 1536 MB GDDR5 


Aditya Infotech Ltd. 
Phone: +91-11-4666 5666 
Web site: 
Price: ?31,000 


Features 7.5 

Performance 8.0 

Build Quality 7.5 

Value for money 5.5 



Features 7.0 

Performance 7.0 

Build Quality 7.5 

Value for money 5.0 

Plantronics Discovery 975 

Bluetooth companion for the ear 

For those extremely 
busy people, single 
ear Bluetooth head- 
sets are the only way 
to go wireless and still stay 
connected with the rest of the 
world. Plantronics is one of 
the few reputed brands in this 
segment. Their latest model is 
the Discovery 975; it's a stylish, 
compact Bluetooth headset. 

The grey coloured single- 
body design with the trans- 
parent earbuds makes it a very 
attractive headset. The build 
quality of the device is pretty 
good as well. Fake leather is 
used at one side which feels 
rather realistic as well. The 
bundled pouch doubles as a 

charging dock for the 

Setting was very 
easy on our first phone 
- a Motorola Mile- 
stone, but we faced 
some issues connecting 
when we tried pairing 
it with phones such as 
the Nokia XtremeMusic 
5530 and the Samsung 

Connectivity is excellent. The 
wireless range is decent and 
so the audio quality excellent. 
The single button is sufficient 
to increase the volume, accept 
calls, power on and power off 
the device. So, operation is 
pretty straight forward and 

doesn't require a lot of time to 
get used to. 

The price of ^5,499 is very 
expensive for a Bluetooth set. 
The performance may be great, 
but most users with cheaper 
phones will think twice before 
buying it. 


Digit I December 2010 I 


Camera that sees around corners 

MIT researchers have developed a camera that utilises 
multi-bounce reflection and hidden geometry to take 
pictures outside the line of sight 



The new action figure 

Apple fanboys have a new way to proove their 
loyalty with this action figure of Steve Jobs 
himself price around $80 


Apple iPod Touch 4G 

Fresh apples in the pod 

The new Pod is sleek 
and slim and looks 
stunning, even with 
the screen off. The 
facia looks like one plane of 
black glass - very stylish.Both 
the 3.5mm jack, and the charger 
slot now have a slight taper to 
their periphery, meaning part 
of the charger and the earphone 
plug, are visible from the rear, 
as is a single loudspeaker unit, 
with a neat, recessed chrome 

There are two cameras on the 
4G. Both these can be switched 
between, with a simple on- 
screen option when the camera 
is activated. The front camera 
is a VGA one, whereas the rear 
one supports a still resolution 
of 960 x 720 pixels, or video 
recording at 720i. 

A resolution of 960 x 640 

pixels, while maintaining the 
same display size of 3.5-inches 
increases the pixel density. The 
result is a very crisp display. The 
sunlight legibility of the dis- 
play is also surprisingly good. 
Viewing angles are poor, thanks 
to the super reflective display. 

The newer iPod generates 
more heat, especially noticeable 
when charging the device, and 
while playing games.Battery 
life also seems to have taken a 
nosedive. With music playback, 
battery life is not affected as it 
is while gaming. 

Bass levels are good. There is 
a good bit of impact and weight 
that will keep bassheads foot tap- 
ping. The slightly recessed mid- 
range seems to cause guitars to 
lack a bit of sizzle, and this makes 
guitar solos slightly less emotive 
and involving. 

The highs are pretty 
extended, and there is good 
instrument separation. 

For a price of ^19,900, the 
iPod Touch 4G is a premium 
PMP with a lot of features. It 
excels at music, videos and 
gaming, making it a complete 
device, and if you can afford 
to spend this much, we highly 
recommend it. 


OS: iOS 4.0; Display: 3.5- 
inches, 640x960 pixels, 
24-bit colour; weight: 101 
grams; Capacity: 8, 32, 
64 GB; Wi-Fi: 802.11n 


Apple India 

Phone : +91-80-2574 4646 

Web site: 

Price: ?19,900 


Features 9.0 

Performance 8.5 

Build Quality 8.5 

Value for money 7.0 


OS: Windows 7 Home Basic; 

CPU: AMD Phenom II N930; 


GPU: ATI Radeon 550v 1 GB; 

HDD: 500 GB 5400 rpm 

Screen : 15.6-inch WLED; 


Dell India Pvt. Ltd. 

Phone: 1800- 425-4026 

Email: dechama_uthappa@ 

Web site: 

Price: ^42,900 


Features 6.0 

Performance 6.0 

Build Quality 7.0 

Value for money 5.5 

Delllnspiron M501R 

Superior looks, inferior battery 

The glossy surface of the Dell 
Inspiron is bedazzling. It has 
a brush metal glossy finish on 
the top flap as well as the palm 
rests. It looks quite elegant. 
M501R houses a quad core AMD 
Phenom II 930 processor along- 
with 4 GB of DDR3 RAM. This 
is one of those rare laptops you 
see nowadays which has some 
portion of the base projecting 
beyond the hinge of the monitor. 
The M501R has three USB ports, 
of which two are located on the 
rear side alongside a VGA port - 
which is not really helpful. Mouse 
trackpad is quite responsive and 
supports scrolling gestures. The 
system runs a Windows 7 home 

premium OS. The 15.6 
inch screen has a glossy 
finish and is quite lumi- 

In synthetic tests 
Like 3D Mark 06 it 
gave an overall score 
of 6064 which is quite 
good thanks to 1 GB of 
video RAM. Cinebench 
rendering gave an 
impressive score of 7756. Due to 
the quad core processor and 4GB 
of RAM, this laptop delivers the 
goods when it comes to processor 
intensive tasks. It completed a 
100MB VOB to DI VX conversion 
task in under a minute. But the 
battery life is huge disappoint- 

ment. In out battery life tests, it 
lasted a mere 3 hours, which is 
not good at all as we had just one 
video playing on the loop. With 
multitasking that number will go 
down further. 

At a price of ^42,900 it seems 
a bit pricey mainly due to the poor 
battery life. 

Digit I December 2010 I 103 






The Digit Test Centre receives and tests 
enough products on a monthly basis 
to fill hundreds of pages with reviews. 
Each and every one of the products 
reviewed in Digit is tested thoroughly, 
and put through the same rigour as 
you're used to seeing in our comparison 
tests. Bazaar mini is our way of ensuring 
that you get the results of our extensive 
testing in a more timely manner, and in a 
compact and easy-to-read format. Send 
feedback and suggestions on this new 
section to 

eBay releases iPhone app 

eBay released Version 2 of its iPhone app which will allow you to buy 
and sell products on eBay and scan barcodes for comparison shopping 


Aroma AD555 

Price : ?2,999 


Nokia X6 

Price: H4.449 


Type Dual SIM phone 

Screen 2.0-inch TFT 

Battery 750 mAh 

Camera 2 MP 

Screen 3.2-inches 

Resolution 360 x 640 

Camera 5MP 

Battery 1320 mAh 

TEST CENTRE RATINGS (All Scores out of 10) 

Features 6.0 

AD555 comes with a skinned 
Java UI giving it a pleasing Look. 
It has shortcuts for audio player 

Performance 4.5 

Cramped keypad is huge 
Letdown. The volume of the 
device was found to be quite Low 
and you will have to keep the 
phone pressed to your ear. 

Build Quality 6.5 

Comes in a sleek form factor 
with a sturdy build 

Value for money 6.0 

Decent phone for the price of 


It features a capacitive 
touchscreen with Symbian 
Series 60 operating system. 


Performance 6.0 

Excellent call clarity in Zone 1 
and Zone 2. Battery performance 
is mediocre. Phone's 5MP Carl 
Zeiss Lens camera is quite decent 

Build quality 7.0 

Built out of high quality materials 
and has a nice, hefty feel to it. 

Value for money 5.5 

At ?14,449, this is an expensive 


Go for this phone if you are not 
an SMS junkie and want a sleek 
good looking phone. A 2MP 
camera with flash is an incentive 
over other phones in this range. 
The still camera was average at 
best whereas the video camera 
dosen't really deliver the goods. 
It comes bundled with some ac- 
cessories like a red leather phone 
case and a microSD card reader 
out of the box. 


1) Micromax Qube 

Digit October 2010 

2) Wyncomm Y50 
Digit September 2010 

3) Intex IN 4410 

Digit April 2010 

While the phone is well built, 
stylish, and sports a decent 5MP 
camera, the combination of its 
dated and not-touch-friendly 
operating system along with 
the lack of RAM and CPU power 
makes it a slow and expensive 
performer compared to many 
other phones out there at equiva- 
lent or lower prices, such as 
some of the Lower-end Android 
phones from Samsung, HTC 
and LG. 


1) Samsung Galaxy 3 

Digit November 2010 

2) HTC Widlfire 

Digit October 2010 

iOS 4.2 launched 

Apple's iOS 4.2 is now available for iPod Touch, iPad and 
iPhone features AirPrint - a WiFi printing architechture 


Fighting cyber-crime 

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Nasscom have 
signed a memorandum of understanding to share data on 
fighting cybercrime 

Bazaar mini 


Canon PIXMA iP 2770 

Price: ^2,695 

Maximum resolution 4800 x 1200 

Dimensions 445 x 250 x 130mm 

Interface USB 2.0 

Weight 3.4kg 

Features 6.0 

It is compact in size meant for 
B/W and colour prints only. It uses 
hybrid ink. 

Performance 5.5 

Black and white text page takes 
upto 30 seconds. The print 
quality is average. 

Build quality 6.0 

The overall appearance is glossy 
black which adds to its aesthetic 

Value for money 6.5 

Affordable printer at a price point 
of low price point of ?2,695. 


For those who don't care about 
print time and want to use for a 
printer for home or small office 
use, this is an ideal printer for 
you. Photo printing at high quality 
takes quite a while. Even though 
the printer is affordable, you will 
have to invest in cartridges which 
do cost anywhere from ?700 to 


1) Canon PIXMA IP1980 

Digit January 2010 

2) Canon PIXMA IP3680 
Digit January 2010 

3) Epson B-500DN 
Digit January 2010 

4) Ricoh SP4100NL 
Digit January 2010 

Canon iP4870 

Price: ^8,155 

Kingston SSDNow V 
Series 64 GB 

Price: ?9,000 


Maximum Resolution 9600x2400 

Dimensions 431 x 297 x 153mm 

Interface USB 2.0 

Weight 5.7kg 

Capacity 64 GB 

Form Factor 2.5 inch 

Interface SATA2.0 

TEST CENTRE RATINGS (All Scores out of 10) 

Features 6.0 

The printer has two Loading 
docks, front for CD printing and 
rear for paper Loading. 

Performance 7.0 

The text printing was good. No 
Le smudging was seen in colour 
prints. It gave out very high 
accuracy and detailing in photos. 

Build quality 7.0 

The tray build quality is good and 
the rear tray can hold up to 400 
pages atone instance. 

Value for money 6.0 

The price of ?8,155 is high for this 

Features 6.0 

It is a 2.5 inch feather-Light drive. 
This SSD supports S.M.A.R.T and 
TRIM command. 

Performance 6.5 

It gave write speeds of over 
90MBps in real Life file transfer 
tests. A 1GB photoshop file 
transfer took 10 sees only. 

Build quality 6.0 

Sturdy build and come with a dual- 
functional case which provides 
SATA to USB conversion. 

Value for money 5.5 

Competitively priced at ?9,000 
for its performance. 



The photo quality of the prints is 
great. This printer uses Canon's 
proprietary Picolitre technology 
for printing texts and photos with 
highest resolution of 9600dpi. 
This is an ideal printer for those 
who print a lot of colour docu- 
ments as its priced quite high for 
normal home usage. It supports 
PictBridge which is ideal for dig- 
ital photography enthusiasts who 
want quick prints without turning 
on their PC. 


1) Canon PIXMA iP3680 

Digit January 2010 

2) Epson B-500DN 

Digit January 2010 


As is the case with SSDs, the 
price is a major concern here 
as well. If you are looking for 
performance laptop and one 
who needs very high read/write 
speeds then this may be one 
of the options to choose from. 
TRIM helps in maintaining the 
write speeds of the drive over its 


1) Intel SSD 80GB 

Digit January 2010 

2) Kingston SSD Now M Series 

Digit January 2010 

Digit July 2010 



Panache Smile PC 

Price: ?15,000 

CPU 1.6 GHz Atom N270 

RAM 1GB DDR2 @ 533MHz 

Chipset Intel 945GSE 

HDD 320 GB 

Features 6.0 

This thin client runs on a 1.6GHz 
processor and sports a DVI/VGA 
display options with 3 USB ports. 

Performance 5.0 

Transferring a 4 GB folder took 
230 seconds which could too 
painful in daily Life. Synthetic 
tests too did not impress. 

Build quality 7.0 

It is heavier than standard small 
cabinet with overall rounded 

Value for money 5.5 

For ?15,000 we think this PC is 
bit overpriced. 


Although being compact is one 
of its major USP's It does not 
perform up to the mark. If you 
are one of those who are thinking 
of a compact SoHo solution then 
this may be your option. As per 
our tests, encoding a 100MB DivX 
file took about 280 seconds which 
is too slow. Also WinRAR gave 
a rating of 109 kbps. Keeping in 
mind that there are much better 
options, you should really con- 
sider all the other competitors as 
well. It is not a very aggressive 

Digit I December 2010 I 105 


Bazaar mini 

Quick insights from indepth tests 


Over the air printing 

HP will bring wireless printing via its ePrint 
app for BlackBerry to Select offices such as 
FedEx, Hilton hotels among others 

600,000 tablets sold 

Samsung has told a Korean newspaper that 
it has sold over 600,000 Galaxy Tab tablets 
within a month of its launch worldwide 


Antec DF-85 

Price: H5.122 


Linksys E3000 

Price: ?10,999 


Sony SA-ID5000 

Price: ?4.999 


Cooler Master Elite 430 

Price: ?3.500 

Format Full tower 

Fans 5 x 120mm, 2 x 140mm 

Expansion slots 7 

Dimesions 596 x 213 x 505mm 

Features 7.0 

Provision for water cooling and 
easy access to fans is available. 
Supports USB 3.0. 

Performance 7.5 

Five fans with controls should 
allow for great cooling, has 
enough space for hardware such 

Build quality 7.0 

Good overall build quality; scroll 
wheel and buttons around it 
could have been a Little sturdier. 

Value for money 5.0 

Quite a bit expensive for the 
features and build quality. 

WiFi standard 802.11n 

Dualband Yes 

Ethernet ports 4 (Gigabit) 

USB port 1 

Features 7.0 

The USB connectivity feature 
allows you to use the router as a 
NAS device. 

Performance 7.0 

The performance is pretty good. 
Speeds touch 3 to 4 MBps even 
across rooms. 

Build quality 7.5 

The design is attractive very 
much Like some of the Last 
models from Linksys. 

Value for money 5.0 

At ?10,999, it's one of the more 
expensive routers. 

Type 5.1 surround speakers 

Power. 25W 

Driver size 130mm woofer, 70mm 


; (ALL Scores out of 10) 

Features 6.0 

Comes with a wireless remote 
control, but no 3.5mm analog 
jack to RCA converters. 

Performance 5.5 

It's average performer. There is 
distortion in audio beyond 70 per 
cent volume. Woofer is pretty 
punchy but satellites below par. 

Build quality 6.5 

Good build quality. Remote is too 
flat and too Light weight. Decent 
cable quality. 

Value for money 5.0 

A price of ?5,000 can fetch you 
more powerful speakers. 

5.25-inch bays 3 

3.5-inch bays 7 

Weight 5.8 kg 

Dimensions 190 x 424 x 490 mm 

Features 6.0 

Has just enough space for a 
Radeon 5970. Tool-Less features 
from higher models built into it. 

Performance 6.5 

The thermal performance is 
decent but isn't recommended 
for SLI and Crossfire setups that 
feature higher-end cards. 

Build quality 6.5 

The build is good, with decent 
gauge of metal being used. Side 
panels have a fair bit of flex. 

Value for money 8.0 

At ?3,500, Elite 430 offers great 
value for money. 


Good option to consider if you're 
Looking for a cabinet for a gaming 
rig. It's attractive, futureproofed 
and also fit on the Latest high- 
end graphics cards. Quality could 
have been a Little better, but 
there are far worse. We only wish 
it was cheaper by at Least x 3,000 
to x 4,000. Cabinets in this price 

The E3000 is a good router if 
you're looking something that 
can provide WiFi service in sev- 
eral rooms. If you're looking for 
a simple router for just browsing 
the web, then Look at cheaper op- 
tions under the ^5,000 bracket. 
This router is more for the power 
user. The features aren't very 

The Sony SA-ID5000 speakers 
are pretty neutral in their sound 
signature but performance 
issues crop up when the power 
is cranked way up. The punchy 
bass is nice to have while playing 
games and watching movies. 
There are better options to 
choose from for the same price. 

It's a good chassis - definitely a 
cut above cheaper offerings from 
smaller vendors. A very nice 
option for anyone looking at a 
good, value oriented chassis. The 
market operating price is around 
^2,700. If you can get it at this 
price, it's a steal. It manages to 
address the needs of mid range 
gamers rather well. 

range generally have more 
features and slightly better 
build quality. 

unique either which makes it an 
average buy for most users. 


1) F&D F900U 

Digit October 2010 

2) F&D F700U 
Digit October 2010 

3) Altec Lansing MX6021 
Digit April 2010 

4) Creative Gigaworks T3 
Digit April 2010 

5) Sony SRS-D511 
Digit April 2010 


1) Lian Li Armorsuit PC-P80 

Digit February 2010 

2) Lian Li A71F 
Digit April 2010 

3) Cooler Master 690 II 

Digit October 2010 


1) Buffalo WHR-HP-GN 

Digit July 2010 

2) Linksys WRT320N 
Digit July 2010 

3) Netgear JWNR2000 

Digit July 2010 


1) Lian Li Armorsuit PC-P80 

Digit February 2010 

2) Lian Li A71F 
Digit April 2010 

3) Cooler Master 690 II 

Digit October 2010 


Digit I December 2010 I 


Ice touchscreen! 

A team at Nokia, Finland has created an unlikely but a first 
touchscreen of ice dubbed as Ubice 


Sharp 3D phone in India soon 

Sharp India will soon launch Galapagos 003SH and the 005SH 
which are 3D phones running on Android 2.2 with a 1GHz 

Bazaar mini 


Byond Q99 

Price: ?3,999 

Type Dual SIM phone 

Keypad QWERTY 

Screen 2 inch TFT 

Battery 1000 mAh Li-ion battery 

Features 5.5 

It has a 1.3MP camera, an optical 
trackpad and integrated social 
networking apps Like Facebook. 

Performance 5.0 

Call quality was good in Zone 
1 and 2. Optical trackpad is not 
very responsive. Camera quality 
was quite poor. 

Build quality 5.5 

Decent build quality. The glossy 
battery cover is a dust magnet. 

Value for money 5.5 

At ?3,999 we felt that the price 
was a bit high for this phone. 


The phone has decent build but 
a poor camera and multimedia 
options. The slow response of 
the optical trackpad may not go 
down very well with most users 
as it requires constant swiping 
which can lead to a sore thumb. 
Has in-built social networking 
apps like Facebook, Twitter, 
Skype, etc. Good to purchase if 
the price is under ^3,000. 


1) Intex IN 5030 

Digit April 2010 

2) g-Fone 351N 

Digit April 2010 
3) Intex IN 4420 

Digit April 2010 


g-Fone DUO 468 

Price: ^2,999 

Aroma AD335 

Price: ? 2,299 

Type Dual SIM phone 

Screen 2 inches TFT 

Camera VGA 

Battery 1200 mAh Li-ion battery 

Type Dual SIM phone 

Camera VGA 

Screen 2 inches TFT 

Battery 1050 mAh 

TEST CENTRE RATINGS (All Scores out of 10) 

Features 5.0 

It has a five shortcuts on the 
homescreen in a dock based 
fashion. Has a Facebook app. 

Performance 5.0 

Call quality was good in zone 1 
but OK in zone 2. The bundled 
in earphones are of poor quality. 
Buttons are hard to press. 

Build quality 6.0 

Build quality is quite sturdy. It 
comes with an extra set of back 

Value for money,, ........... 5.5 

At ?2,999 this is a decent buy for 
an entry level QWERTY phone. 

Features 5.0 

Aroma AD335 features a 
touchscreen alongwith a stylus. 

Performance 5.5 

The touchscreen is not very 
responsive to touch and using 
the stylus on such a small 
screen is pointless. 

Build quality 4.5 

Plastic quality of the phone Looks 
quite cheap. Keypad is also bad. 

Value for money 6.0 

The pricing of the phone is quite 




As an entry level phone it is good 
as it does a decent job of calling 
and messaging. But we felt that 
a 2MP camera would have added 
to the appeal. The VGA camera 
gives poor quality photographs. 
Not recommended for multime- 
dia junkies. 


1) Olive VG2300H 

Digit April 2010 

2) Videocon V1405 
Digit April 2010 

3) Videocon V1306 
Digit April 2010 

4) Huawei C5600 
Digit November 2010 

5) Videocon V1425 
Digit September 2010 

Go for this phone if you are look- 
ing at a basic entry level dual- 
SIM phone. It bundles in a pouch 
and a micro SD card and a mirror 
guard which is quite thought- 
ful. Calling and messaging are 
its strong points. Its not meant 
for its multimedia prowess. Call 
quality was good in Zone 1 and 2. 
Handsfree is not that great as it 
hangs quite Low and you have to 
puLL the mic up to your mouth to 
be audible. 


1) Wyncomm Y22 

Digit September 2010 

2) Intex IN6633 

Digit September 2010 

XAGE M108 

Price: ?3,399 

Type Dual SIM phone 

Screen 1.8 inches TFT 

Battery 1000 mAh 

Camera VGA 

Features 6.0 

XAGE M106 sports a loud 
speaker on the rear side. Hotkeys 
for music are present. 

Performance 6.0 

Speaker is really Loud Like but the 
quality of music on Loud volume 
is not really great. Call quality 
was good in Zone 1 and 2. 

Build quality 6.0 

Decent build quality with rear 
cover which provides good grip. 
Keypad has well Laid out keys. 

Value for money 6.5 

The phone is quite well priced at 


The selling point of the phone is 
its basic functionalities, the user 
interface and the loud speaker. 
As an entry level phone, it has 
got its basics right. Earphones 
though are not really good. 
Homescreen is neatly divided 
into six shortcut icons. Menu 
reminds one of the interface of 
Nokia phones with similar Look- 
ing icons. 


1) Micromax PIKE X510 

Digit October 2010 

2) Movil MC100 

Digit November 2010 

Digit I December 2010 I 



Bazaar mini 

Quick insights from indepth tests 


Google syncs with Microsoft 

Google Cloud Connect is an add-on for MS Office that 
syncs documents, spreadsheets and presentations from 
Office 2003, 2007 and 2010 

Instant backfires 

Google's Instant Preview has been 
rumoured to generate false traffic; a fix is 
being worked on 



Zebronics Diamond Series DJ 
Price: ?1,100 

Sensitivity : 105 dB; Impedance: 
32 ohms; Type : CircumauraL; 
Cord Length : 2.15 metre 

Features 5.5 

Performance 6.0 

Build Quality 7.0 

Value for money 6.5 





Zebronics ZEB Station 
Price: ?2,850 

Dimensions: 175 x 123 x 260 mm; 
HDD sizes supported: 3.5-inch 
SATA; Interface: USB 2.0, eSATA 

Clink Cybercafe Manager 
Price : Free 

Utilities Provided : Google Search 
Bar, Quick Links for Internet Sites, 
Clean and easily accessible Desktop, 
Content on Cricket, Movies, News 

TEST CENTRE RATINGS (All Scores out of 10) 

Features 6.0 

Performance 5.0 

Build Quality 6.0 

Value for money 5.0 

Features, 6.0 

Performance 6.0 

Ease of use 6.0 

Value for money 8.0 

Specifications : WiFi: 802.11n, 
Dualband: Yes, Ethernet ports: 4 
(Gigabit), USB port: 1 

Features ...7.0 

Performance 7.0 

Build Quality 7.5 

Value for money 6.0 



At n.,100, these head- 
phones are priced quite 
reasonably. Although its 
got an excellent build 
quality we felt that the sound 
quality could have been better in 
general and sound separation in 
particular. The mids were quite 
good. Bass response was decent. 


At ^2,850 we felt that 
Zeb Station is overpiced 
as it does not really 
provide the best quality 
sound. Also the absence of track 
names despite having a scrolling 
LED display may not go down 
well if you have a huge collection 
of songs in your USB drive. 


The Clink cybercafe 
manager is a great tool 
for cybercafes, who also 
provide other services 
like printing, scanning or copying. 
It helps you to keep a tab of 
inventory thanks to its Products 
and Services menu. You can cus- 
tomise the security settings. 


The Linksys E2000 is 
a smaller device but 
somewhat similar to 
the E3000 model. It's 
a whole ^3,000 cheaper but it 
doesn't come with the simulta- 
neous dual-band feature or the 
USB connectivity option. It's still 
a slightly expensive router. 


2.4-inch TFT Screen, 16-bit 
Graphics, Supports Rechargeable 
Batteries, 28 GamesTV Out 

2.8 inch TFT display, 320x240 pixel 
resolution, Movie format support : 

Display: 1.8-inch TFT; Memory: 
microSD; Battery: 1800mAh, 
Standby-time: up to 1080 hours 

Display: 1.8-inch TFT, Resolution: 
128 x 160, Colours: 65K; Memory: 
microSD expandable up to 4GB 

TEST CENTRE RATINGS (All Scores out of 10) 

Features 5.5 

Performance 6.5 

Build Quality 5.0 

Value for money 6.5 

Features 6.5 

Performance 6.5 

Build Quality 6.5 

Value for money 5.5 

Features 6.5 

Performance 6.0 

Ease of use 5.0 

Value for money 6.0 

Features 5.5 

Performance 6.0 

Ease of use 6.5 

Value for money 6.0 




ME K28 is a good port- 
able gaming device. 
Although the number of games 
that can be played on it is limited 
as of now which may ruin the fun 
for some. The TV out feature al- 
lows you to play games on a PAL 
TV, which is an interesting touch. 


For ^4990, this handheld 
device is a Little pricey. 
The audio quality is not up 
to the mark but the display com- 
pensates for the loss. There is no 
way of adjusting the equalizer for 
fine tuning of sound output. Video 
playback is excellent and supports 
most of the modern video formats. 

feature-rich dual-SIM 
budget cellphone, with 
its long battery life being the top 
selling point. Although it does not 
impress with its average perform- 
ance, it still packs a punch within 
this price category. At ?2,599, it 
gives you good value for money. 

The Pine prince is just 
another dual-SIM budg- 
et cellphone, that is rich 
on basic features and average on 
performance. If you are looking 
for a budget dual-SIM phone 
sans camera and connectivity, 
then this one is for you. At a price 
of ^1,795, this is a decent buy. 


Digit I December 2010 I 


■ ■ 


Poke-man dead 

Takeshi Shudo.Writer/Creator of Pokemon, the 
Japanese cartoon series, passes away at 61 

Twitter down? 

Twitter's CEO, Evan Williams, steps down to 
concentrate on product strategy 

Who do you trust? 

This month, we conclude Icons of Trust 
2010. For the remaining categories, read 
Part 1 in last month's issue... 

Team Digit 

With valuable feedback from our readers 

Desktop PC 

Whether it be printers, wireless devices, 
or storage, inevitably it's a desktop or 
a notebook they are being connected 
to / used with. Desktop penetration in 
India is low, but compared to what it 
was five years back we've come a long 
way. One of the most important things to 
remember when talking about a desktop 
is that, it's a combination of compo- 
nents with added after sales support 
and warranties from a single brand. 

Market trends 

Desktops have continued their down- 
ward spiral in terms of pricing. Desk- 
tops trends are pretty much tied with 
hardware trends. This year has also 
seen Intel's entry level Core i5 and Core 


How is trust calculated? 

All respondents are asked to complete 
a rather long and comprehensive 
questionnaire, which aims at arriving at 
scores for five parameters. 

Awareness: Purchases depend a lot 
on your awareness and the market's 
awareness of a brand. To get figures for 
awareness, we asked the respondents 
some questions to see how many knew of 
the brands in this segment. This is again 
sub-divided into first, unaided recall, such 
as, "Which is the first brand that comes 
to mind", and "What other brands are you 
aware of"; later, we provided people with a 
list to measure aided recall. 

Credibility: Under this, questions were asked 
to gauge what respondents felt about the 
quality, durability, technological advancement, 
design, innovativeness, etc., of each brand. 
This is by far the biggest contributor to the 
overall trust index, weighing in at 40 per cent. 

Satisfaction: As owners of a brand's 
products, how satisfied you are with 
their products is one of the key factors 

i3 processors pervade desktops. This 
has brought the goodness of greater 
processing power to the masses. Today, a 
desktop is largely an affordable com- 
modity, and with entry-level desktops 
starting at ^12,000, there's no reason 
why you cannot afford one and introduce 
yourself and your loved ones to the world 
of information technology and progress. 

that influence how much you trust the 
brand. In this regard, we questioned the 
respondents on general satisfaction, 
information avalable on it, after-sales 
support etc. This was the second biggest 
factor in determining overall trust. 

Loyalty: A brand's ability to create 
fanboys speaks a lot. To ascertain the 
loyalty that respondents held for brands, 
we asked them a series of questions that 
ascertained whether they would buy 
another product from the same brand. We 
also gauged how eager the respondents 
were to recommend products from this 
brand to friends and relatives. 

Cost of ownership: There's expenditure 
associated with products even after 
purchase for servicing and repair, which 
may or may not fall under the warranty 
period. To ascertain this, we asked the 
respondents a series of questions to 
determine how much they had spent on 
a brand after purchase. This factors in 
the warranty, repair costs, upgrading (if 
any), etc. We also asked which brands 
respondents felt were cheaper to own. 

Perceptions from our survey 

1. Assembled computers have gained 
repute. When collectively viewed 
as a brand, assembled PCs garner 
a lot of trust and they are just a few 
points behind Dell - the leader in this 
regard. Incidentally, Apple blows HP 
out of the water when it comes to con- 
sumer opinions on trust. 35 per cent 
people trust Apple over HP and Dell. 

2. Apple desktops were also voted the 
most rugged. Dell and assembled 
desktops take second and third spots. 

3. Dell was voted the most innova- 
tive trailed closely by Apple. How- 
ever, Apple was voted the most 
technologically advanced with an 
additional eight per cent people 
strongly agreeing with this. 

4. Apple makes stylish products - 
we have to agree, and so does our 
audience. In fact, Apple garners 
the most votes under "strongly 
agree". Dell is a close second, 
followed by HP/Compaq. 

5. When talking about marker avail- 
ability, HP/Compaq wins hands 
down among the brands. Only 
assembled desktops were voted as 
being easier to buy than HP. We feel 
this is due to HPs strong presence 
in the distribution channel, where 
as a larger brand leveraging of ones 
product is possible. Strong pres- 
ence in the retail segment is also a 
plus. Dell is a distant third here. 

6. Our readers feel Dell and Apple 
are nearly equally credible, with a 
points advantage going to Dell. HP/ 
Compaq garners the same amount 
of credibility as assembled PCs 

- a good showing for assembled 
systems that have traditionally 
lost out on the factor. Lenovo is a 
distant fifth in this comparison. 

7. More HP and Dell users are satis- 
fied with their desktops than any 
other brand or assembled com- 
puters. Talk about loyalty, and Dell 
is number one, followed by Apple. 

8. Surprisingly, (and we're pleased 

Digit I December 2010 I 109 


Tried & tested 


Mayor of outer space 

A NASA astronaut has become the first 
person to check in to Foursquare from outer 
space. Pointless? Yes. Fun? Totally 

Rails for zombies 

Learn Ruby and Rails from the comfort 
of your browser with Rails for Zombies. 

to see this), 
PCs have the 
highest score 
when it comes 
to index of 
this covers 
satisfaction of 
use, and costs 
involved with 
This is heart- 
ening for those 
who believe 
in assembled 

and it's clear that the costs including 
maintenance, associated with 
assembling a PC are lower, or rather, 
our readers perceive it to be so. 
9. Dell has extended their lead ever 
so slightly over HP/Compaq over 
last year. Assembled desktops have 
also built up a lead on everyone 
else, and they're pretty close to 
the two leaders. Lenovo has lost 
ground, and Apple's lead has grown 
enough for them to overtake Lenovo 
and take the fourth position. 

The most trusted 

So who do our readers trust when it 
comes to manufacturers of desktop 
PCs, and brands in general? Dell has 
become almost a household name in 
this country, and in a relatively 
short period of time. 

And before you stand up and protest, 
where was Dell five years ago? Most 
people bought Dell systems from abroad 
and imported them here. Dell leads even 
in the notebook segment, and this is 
testament to some really smart mar- 
keting, and some really sweet products. 
HP/Compaq is a veritable giant in India, 
(globally too), and they're not going to 
give up the second spot without a fight. 
A huge marketing outlay, and a well 
established distribution network has 
helped them retain the number two 
spot. The third spot is occupied col- 
lectively by small vendors - the assem- 
bled desktops leave other brands like 
Lenovo, Acer and HCL in the dust. 

Laptops and netbooks 

With the exception of cellphones, no 
other consumer electronics device 
garners as much attention and interest 
as a notebook. Notebooks have become 
specialised pieces of equipment. Just 
visit a showroom, and you'll see what 
we're talking about. They come in all 
sizes, configurations and are intended 
for specific, albeit different purposes. 
Even the latest darlings, i.e. netbooks are 
basically no frills notebooks with lower 
performance components, and a smaller, 
cheaper-to-build chassis. From the 
18.6-inch monsters to the ultra compact 
12.1-inch powerhouses, there is a huge 
user base for notebooks. And there is a 
huge variety in brands too, as well as the 
products they offer. No wonder then, that 
our tech community had so much to say. 

Market Trends 

The revolution of netbooks has come 
and gone. Netbooks are no longer a new 
product line, but they continue to gather 
a fan base. And with good reason, prices 
have fallen 
slightly, and 
more and more 
vendors are 
offering addi- 
tional goodies 
like 3G SIM 
card support, 
a better finish 
and keypads, 
and dual core 
Atom proces- 

sors. Windows 7 is also lighter than 
Vista on system resources, and with 2 
GB inside your netbook, you can enjoy 
a very nice computing experience. 

Meanwhile, we've seen the advent 
of Core i5/i7 processors inside note- 
books. DX11 GPUs have brought about 
a shot in the arm to gaming notebooks. 
We're steadily seeing components 
get better, even as the market is split- 
ting into two distinct parts - those 
who want a desktop replacement, 
and those who want portability. 

Perceptions from our survey 

1. Dell and HP (in that order) is what 
is recalled when we ask them 
impromptu to blurt out the first 
notebook brand that comes to mind. 
Kudos to Dell, they don't even have a 
very strong retail presence in India, 
and most of the recall is on the basis 
of reputation, word of mouth, and 
of course advertisements. HP is 
second here, while Sony is a distant 
third. Acer is fourth. The rest of the 
vendors have very small showings. 
Surprising that Apple got left out. 

2. Who do you trust? Dell is the answer. 
HP and Sony vie for third spot. Wait a 
minute, who's second? Apple sur- 
prises us garnering enough votes 

to slingshot them to second place. 

3. When talking about quality, Apple 
overtakes Dell. We're surprised too. 
But evidently, Apple is perceived as a 
costly, although very solid and long 
lasting. Could it be all that aluminium 
is being perceived as being very solid? 
Although, Macbooks reportedly fail 
less often than Windows-based note- 
books, we feel Apple's campaign to use 
metal paid off here. If it's perceived 

Trust index - Laptops and Notebook 



Digit I December 2010 I 


Visible microwaves 

Though microwaves are invisible, their presence 
has been detected here using a matrix of neon 
Lamps embedded inside a sheet of acrylic 


570 megapixels! 

The world's highest resolution camera is close to completion 
and it's going to be hunting for dark energy 

Icons of Trust 

as being solid, it won't break down 
often. Dell and Apple take the first and 
second spot in terms of reliability. 

4. Apple notebooks are also considered 
more technologically advanced. We 
feel the design and sleekness has a role 
to play here. Apples magical trackpad 
might also play a role, since it supports 
effortless gestures and such that other 
notebooks do not. Dell gets second spot 
here, and interestingly Sony overtakes 
with HP. HP notebooks are considered 
workhorses, and workhorses cannot 
be technologically advanced right? 

5. Kudos to Apple and Sony for aiming 
to be perceived as a stylish lifestyle 
brand. Most of our readers strongly 
agree that these two brands are the 
most stylish in terms of notebook 
design. Dell comes third, HP comes 
fourth, with Lenovo coming in fifth. 

6. Dell is perceived as being the most 
easy to use notebook, with HP/ 
Compaq coming in second place. 
Sony is third, Lenovo is fourth. 

7. When it comes to availability, 
HP is voted as the most acces- 
sible brand. This makes sense for 
they have a lot of stores, dealers, 
and HPs distribution channel is 
rumoured to be the strongest. 

8. Dell has the strongest after sales sup- 
port system according to a majority 
of our readers. Not only are queries 
resolved sooner, their staff is also the 
most knowledgeable, and repairs are 
performed the quickest. We feel this 
is a strong reason for why there is so 
much trust floating around for Dell. 

9. No surprise then, that Dell also has 
the most faithful consumer base. 
More people praise their notebooks, 
and recommend Dell to others. 
Finally, Dell is also thought to be the 
lightest to maintain, and associated 
with the lowest cost of ownership. 

The most trusted 

Based on collective feedback, Dell was 
found to be the most trusted brand, with 
leads in every sphere, especially a whop- 
ping lead when it comes to awareness. 
HP/Compaq comes in second, trailing 
Dell by some 6 per cent overall. HP has 
not been very aggressive this year, and 

this is a trend we saw last year as well, 
although Dell's lead has grown by 1 
per cent over last year. Sony trails HP/ 
Compaq by two points, whereas last year 
these two were at par, although to be 
honest, Sony has not lost any points from 
last year. Although we're only interested 
in the top three, it bears mention that 
Apple has demolished Lenovo, whom 
they trailed last year, and now trails 
Sony by a single point, we're seeing a 
lot of new Macbooks in various avatars 
and this could well be the reason. 

PMP (MP3) players 

PMPs, or MP3 players as they're com- 
monly called are the de facto choice 
of entertainment for those on the go. 
Imagine this, you're aboard a crowded 
bus, en route work. A PMP provides you 
the means to escape from the daily grind 
around you and blots out the noise, if not 
the pollution. However, for many, this is 
sufficient to keep them fresh on their way 
to office, and if freshness, according to 
you, is a state of mind, you owe it to your- 
self to try out a PMP. Judging from the 
steep hike in their sales, a lot of urban- 
ites are jumping on this bandwagon. 

Market Trends 

PMPs are facing very tough competition 
from cellphones. These are now becoming 
increasingly multimedia-oriented, and 
previously, while a PMP could do movies, 
games and PIM functions other than 
music, the latest cellphones with their 
larger touch-screens are in certain cases, 
just as multimedia oriented. There is 
also a convenience issue. For why would 
someone travel 
with both a cell- 
phone (or two), in 
addition to a PMP, 
if just one device 
could suffice? The 
corollary to this 
is, that no matter 
how converged 
technology makes 
these gadgets, 
there are still 
dedicated port- 
able multimedia 
devices that can 

provide a higher level of entertainment 
than a similarly priced cellphone. 

However, there is no strict rule for 
this, and whether or not a PMP, remains 
a subjective question. After all, do you 
spend ?40,000 on a 32 GB iPhone, or do 
you buy a cheaper ^10,000 cellphone 
and a 32 GB iPod Touch for ?20,000, 
saving ?10,000 in the bargain? 

Perceptions from our survey 

1. What are .the two names that come 
to mind when we say PMP? Apple? 
Sony? Well, our readers who partici- 
pated in this survey thought so too! 19 
out of 20 people will say Apple, while 
15 will say Sony. The other brands 
hardly feature. We feel this has a lot 
to do with the perception these two 
brands have built. Today, the phrase 
"iPod" is actually used by 90 per cent 
of shopkeepers to denote any PMP, 
while we know that it is, in fact an 
Apple trademark. However, this is the 
market situation, and even Sony's, 
Cowon's and Creative's are all 
referred to as "iPods". Sony with 
their "Walkman" trademark 

are almost as well known. 

2. When we asked readers which 
brand they trusted, and whose 
quality was superior, the num- 
bers were overwhelmingly in 
favour of Apple and Sony, with 
Apple maintaining a slight lead. 

3. Apple's PMPs were also voted as 
being more technologically advanced, 
and having a richer feature set. 
Additionally, people feel that Apple 
is more innovative, and innovates 

Trust index -PMP 

Digit I December 2010 I 111 


Tried & tested 



A new product called Phonekerchief 
is meant to block cell phone reception 
when you are out on a romantic date 

Zuckerberg in animation 

After a cameo in Simpsons, Facebook CEO 
Mark Zuckerberg will be featured in his 
own cartoon 

more often than other brands. Sony 
takes the number two spot here. 

4. Stylish? Apple all the way with 
Sony trailing by 9 per cent. Sam- 
sung comes in third here, not 
surprising, given they have 
some very stylish PMPs. 

5. Ease of use? People feel that iPods are 
complicated. Don't ask us why, but 
the fact that Apple is perceived to be 
a lifestyle brand could have some- 
thing to do with it. Sony wins here. 

6. Sony's campaigning for their 
Walkman players has paid off. 
Last year they were two and a half 
times behind Apple, in terms of 
awareness and this surely hurt 
their sales, for how can people 
buy a brand they've not heard of? 
This year, they're just 8 per cent 
behind Apple. That's a whopping 
bit of catching up they've done. 

7. Last year, Sony enjoyed a lead in 
the credibility ratings. This year, 
Apple has caught up to them, and 
both brands have tied. We feel the 
newer iPods being cheaper has fed 
their adoption rate, and this has 
lead to an increase in credibility 
i.e. simply more people bought 
Apple PMPs than last year. 

8. More people are satisfied with 
their Sony Walkmans, than 
Apple users with their iPods. 
This must surely be disturbing for 
people, and we feel it's largely 
because of the hype surrounding 
Apple PMPs. A lot of people buy 
them, and use them and go "they're 
good, but they're not that good". 
The corollary being expect too 
much from a product, and 

you're sure to be dissatis- 
fied. Yes, we made that up! 

9. Sony has gained trust over Apple, 
and surpasses them by a point. 
Last year Apple led by a point. 
We're talking about overall trust, and 
there's a fight brewing here folks. 
Samsung quietly slips into the 
number three spot, overtaking 
Philips and Creative - two com- 
panies that we haven't seen 

many PMPs from in the last year. 
Out of sight, out of mind? 

The most trusted 

Sony steals the show here, no doubt some 
very good models and a better brand 
recall has helped them. Apple occupies 
the number two position. Samsung 
is at number three. Philips and Crea- 
tive tie for the fourth and fifth spot. 

Hard Drives 

Amidst the glamour of SSDs and flash 
storage, we have these, the archaic 
stalwarts. Comparing a HDD to an SSD 
is akin to a sports car to a sedan. How- 
ever, speed doesn't come cheap. And a 
sedan might be easier to live with in the 
long run. Back to hard drives. They're 
the cost-to-gigabyte kings, and SSDs 
can only dream of the value that a hard 
drive can provide. Hard drives haven't 
gotten significantly faster, although 
the latest generation are speedier than 
previous one. However, storage is on 
the increase, and of course hybrid hard 
drives (ones that use flash and mag- 
netic storage) are hiding in the wings. 

Market Trends 

Flash has gotten a bit cheaper. So what? 
Hard drives have become even more 
so. Imagine, you can buy a reasonably 
fast 1.5 terabyte hard drive for merely 
Rs. 4,500. And a two-terabyte drive 
for around Rs. 6,500. Now that's a lot 
of storage. And people are demanding 
more. We're seeing a trend where people 
are opting for multiple hard drives. Buy 
one, fill it up, and then purchase another, 
seems to be the ethos and we love it. 
Obviously, there's no end for data glut- 
tony and we've seen three terabyte hard 
drives enter the 
market, although 
at a higher cost. 
By 2011 they are 
sure to become 
more affordable. 

hard drives are 
available, but it 
seems nobody's 
biting. The higher 
price is prob- 
ably the killjoy. 
We've also seen 
brands clearly 

distinguish between performance 
and power saving options, with WD 
creating a Black, Blue and Green 
series, effectively doing away with 
unnecessary model numbers. 

Notebook hard drives have also 
received a shot in the arm in terms of 
storage. It seemed 500 GB was a ceiling 
for quite a while, but now, 750 GB and 
one terabyte drives are available in the 
2.5-inch form factor. They're faster than 
500 GB drives, owing to higher areal 
densities, and their prices have gone 
through one revision. With another, 
we feel they'll be worth the upgrade. 
Similarly, external hard drives have 
also become more voluminous. At the 
moment, the speed race seems to be 
largely defunct. If you want blazing per- 
formance, you'll go SSD. However, we've 
seen some SAS drives typically seen in 
server and workstation setups being 
marketed for uber desktops. Although 
rare, and expensive, these 12,000 and 
15,000 rpm drives do pack a punch. 

Perceptions from our survey 

1. One of the most shocking figures was 
the awareness index. Seagate is 75 
per cent ahead of Western Digital. We 
were surprised too. This belies the 
fact that many hard drive vendors 
push Western Digital more, a trend 
we've seen in market places like Nehru 
Place (Delhi) and Lamington Road 
(Mumbai). Evidently, Seagate's reputa- 
tion of old means that simply more 
people have heard of the brand. How- 
ever, both Seagate and WD have better 
awareness scores this year, when com- 


Digit I December 2010 I 


More searches 

Accroding to ComScore, both Google and Bing 
upped their market share recently while Yahoo! 
lost a little 


Google Deals 

Google is supposedly in talks to buy out deal-of-the day 
website Groupon 

Icons of Trust 

pared to the result of last years survey. 

2. Over the top recall of Seagate is excel- 
lent. Nearly four times more people 
will mention Seagate over WD when 
asked for naming a hard drive brand. 

3. When it comes to credibility and 
trust, people trust Seagate more. 
Western Digital trails by a good 13 per 
cent in both parameters. Transcend 

is a distant third, although note that 
they are external drive vendors and 
do not make internal hard drives. 

4. Seagate and WD are associated 
with being the most technologically 
advanced, with Seagate having a four 
per cent lead. Their nearest com- 
petitor, Hitachi, is light years away. 

5. Seagate and WD are also easy to use. 
Obviously, the more people that adopt 
a brand, the more use it, and the drives 
away unnecessary opinions. After all, 
who heard of a hard drive being hard 
to use? Unsurprisingly, A- Data is at 
the bottom of this list. They're a new 
brand in India, and not many people 
will have heard of them. In fact, they 
weren't even on our radar last year. 

6. Our readers also felt that Sea- 
gate was the easiest brand to get 
information on, and counter sales 
people were more informed, and 
could better impart knowledge 
about it. WD was second here, 
and Transcend comes in third. 

7. Seagate is also perceived to be 
cheaper to own. A little less than 
double the votes went to Seagate 
over WD for this parameter. Obvi- 
ously, the trust Seagate has built 
over the years is still their forte. 

8. Seagate's credibility score goes 
through the roof with WD fol- 
lowing closely behind. Both brands 
have gained a point each over 

last year, and there's a difference 
of five per cent between both. 

The most trusted 

Seagate is the most trusted, followed by 
WD. Transcend gets third position. 


Not the most interesting of categories 
to consumers, but this is an important 
market for imaging professionals and 

Aside from the 
biggest players 
HP, Canon and 
Epson, there 
are also a lot of 
other brands like 
Samsung, Xerox, 
Brother and 
Wipro that do a 
lot of business 
in India. Since 
most of the busi- 
ness of printers 

and MFDs is B2B, we consumers 
see a very small trickle over of 
products in the market. However, 
we were interested in our readers' 
opinions on these peripherals. 

Market watch 

Nothing radically new in terms of tech- 
nology has happened over the past year. 
That being said, we see laser printers 
gradually pervading, what was, formerly 
inkjet- only usage scenarios. Due to the 
lower cost per page and higher duty 
cycles of laser devices, more and more 
manufacturers are offering afford- 
able options with lower feature sets. 
Another trend we've seen continue is the 
increasing acceptance of MFDs. Due to 
the sheer convenience of having more 
than one function in a single device, 
MFDs have been very popular. This 
saves not only on space and time, but also 
on cost, and some inkjet MFDs finally 
make cost sense to a lot of households. 

Perceptions from our survey 

1. A phenomenal chunk of our readers 
own HP printers or MFDs, nearly 
4.5 times more than the second most 
owned brand i.e. Canon. No surprise 
that people feel HP is the most cost 
effective solution. People also feel HP 
is the most trustworthy brand. While 
we don't intend to undermine the 
validity of the scores, it bears men- 
tion that with such a high percentage 
of people owning an HP device, it's 
natural that the scores would be 
slightly skewed in their favour. Of 
course, the corollary to this is that 
people must have had a valid reason 

Trust index - Printers-MFDs 

for purchasing HP in the first place. 

2. Interestingly, a good 20 per cent 
more people believe that HP 
devices don't breakdown as easily 
as other brands. Canon is voted 
as the next most rugged brand. 

A similar number of people also 
believe that HP is more innova- 
tive with their printing solutions. 

3. Compared to last year, Canon seems 
to have gained some ground on 

HP when it comes to credibility. 
Epson has also gained ground, 
but at a slightly slower rate. 

4. Users are more satisfied with the top 
three brands this year, compared to 
last year. This is heartening, though 
we see little change in the other 
brands. Sharp and Samsung have 
been the biggest gainers, gaining 7 
and 4 per cent respectively in terms 
of overall consumer satisfaction. 

5. HP was also voted as the most 
responsive to customers needs, 
followed in equidistant mar- 
gins by Canon and Epson. 

6. It seems sales people at counters 
need to pass on more knowledge to 
consumers. Even though HP was 
the top dog in this arena, overall, lots 
of work is to be done here, and we 
feel all brands need to pull up their 
socks when it comes to education of 
their over-the-counter sales teams. 

The most trusted 

HP was voted the most trusted brand 
this year, maintaining a distance between 
its nearest rival Canon. Epson stood in 
third place - pretty much unchanged 
from last year. H 

Digit I December 2010 I 113 


Digital life 


Super Androids? 

Expect to see a flurry of new supercharged 
Android devices in the next month or two 
running on dual cores! 

Joy to Galaxy S 

Samsung Galaxy S users will be happy to know 
that Samsung is rolling out an OTA update pushing 
Android 2.2 (FroYo) to Galaxy S users in India 

Rooting for nOObs - 

Everything you need to know! 


An introduction to rooting 
your Android phone and 
the almost endless 
possibilities that go 
hand in hand with it. 
An interesting read, 
even if you don't own an 
Android phone. 

Rudresh Jariwala 

rudresh.j@thinkdigit. com 

With the Android army 
gaining momentm 
at a gargantuan rate, 
(now 2 nd most popular 
platform in the world), it's hard to ignore 
the sheer power that the mobile operating 
system gives the user. If you are new to 
terminology like "rooting" and "supe- 
ruser", then you have come to the right 
place. Through the course of this article 
you will learn not only what it means 
to root your phone, but also some of the 

marvelous feats that can be achieved 
thanks to the open source nature of 
Android. We will then venture into the 
less treaded path of overclocking / under- 
clocking (we like the former) your phone 
and the different ROM's you can install 
on your phone to give you your hack fix. 
So without further ado, lets dive right in! 

Just root it! 

"Rooting", or gaining root access to your 
phone is something not many common 
phone users are familiar with. In fact, if 
you were to randomly shoot a question 
about rooting to your friends, chances 
are that they will have absolutely no 
idea what you are even talking about 
and will probably make fun of you for 
being such a geek (just kidding). 

"Rooting your phone" or "getting 
root" is the process of modifying your 
operating system to grant you complete 
control over it. The term "root" has origi- 
nated in the world of the Linux operating 
system where user's with root access have 

no restriction over the type of operations 
that can be performed. A user with root 
privileges is called a "superuser" (like 
an administrator in Windows) and this 
access is by default restriced on Android 
phones by manufacturers. By gaining 
superuser permission, you can circum- 
vent many of the restrictions imposed 
upon you by the manufacturers and by 

Android rooted 


Digit I December 2010 I 


Salty Air 

Adobe has released Air version 2.5.1 for 
Android which is dubbed "Saltier" 



Credit cards be gone 

Google has announced support for NFC (Near 
field Communication) for paying wirelessly using 
your mobile phone... coming soon 

Digital life 

that we mean you can even go ahead an 
install a custom baked version of Android 
on your phone to replace the (outdated) 
one that your phone came with. 

Performing a Google search of 
[YourPhoneModel] root will provide 
you with all the information you need 
to root your device and it is now very 
easy to do (there are 1-click root apps 
like "Universal Androot" available). 

The perks 

There are a vast number of advan- 
tages to rooting your phone 

Tether: Rooting your Android phone 
gives you the ability to use apps such 




Wireless Tether for Root Users 


■ Press to start tethering. - 

Tether on Android 

as EasyTether that make your phone a 
mobile hotspot. What does that mean? 
Well to put it in lay man's terms, if you 
have GPRS or better still 3G enabled on 
your SIM card then your friends around 
you will be able to detect your phone's 
inter ent connectivity as a WiFi hotspot! 

Tip: Upgrading to Android 2.2 will 
give you native tethering capability 
witthout the need for any app. 

Delete annoying stock apps: If you 
have annoying applications that came 
bundled with your phone and would 
like to get rid of that crapware then 
root permission is all you will need. 

Local backup on SD card: Yes, 

Android does store your 
apps and the data associ- 
ated with it on the cloud 
(very nifty feature!) but if 
you would like your phone 
to come back EXACTLY 
as is - with icons on 
your home screens, call 
logs, SMS messages etc. 
then perfoming a full 
backup using software 
like Titanium Backup 
will enable you to do so. 
Overclock/ under- 
clock: Using apps like 
SetCPU will allow you 
to speed up your phone's 
processor when it is in 
use and slow it down 
when in sleep mode. You 
can use software such as 
Quadrant Standard and 
Linpack to benchamark 
your phone and play with 
the clock speed much 
like you would do on your computer. 

Over- overclocked! 

The G2 which is the successor to the 
first ever Android phone (Gl) runs on a 
stock 800 Mhz processor and has been 
successfully overclocked to 1.9 Ghz! That's 
over a 100% improvement in clock speed 
and it's completely stable. 

CyanogenMod boot screen 

Save disk space: I'm sure those 
of you not on FroYo (Android 2.2) are 
probably cribbing about not being able 
to install all the apps you want simply 
because your phone memory is not 
enough. Well fret not, for rooting will 
enable you to install Apps2SD which 
will give you the ability to move your 
apps and their cache to the SD card hence 
making a lot of free space available on 
your phone's onboard memory. So what 

Ubuntu running on a Nexus One 

are you waiting for? Install away! 

Manage your startup: Another 
very useful app that requires superuser 
permissions is Startup Manager which is 
pretty self explanatory in terms of what it 
does. If speeding up your startup is some- 
thing you care deeply about then what 
are you still doing reading this article?! 

Improved compatability: There 
is also the scenario where your phone 
may be running such an old version of 
Android (1.6) that you can't install newer 
apps that have a higher OS requirment 
and with Gingerbread (2.3) rolling out, 
you could be pushed even deeper down 
the hole. In such a case, we recommend 
flashing a newer version of the OS (or a 
custom ROM) to gain said compatability. 

Custom ROM: Here come the pocket 
aces. Installing a custom ROM is some- 
^^^ thing many root 

users like to indulge 
in. If you want to 
be up to date on the 
latest featues and 
' make them available 
at your disposal, 
then flashing your 
1 ROM with the newest 
Android version is 

Digit I December 2010 I 



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No Nexus Two? 

Though Eric Schmidt said there wiLL be no Nexus Two, he 
never said anything about a Nexus S. This is the rumoured 
successor to the "pure Google" Nl smartphone 

Did you know? 

Android's code contains 12 million 
lines of code 

Digital life 

You might just brick your phone! 


MUST READ: Installing a custom ROM on 
your phone does run the risk of potentially 
bricking it (i.e. your phone could become 
totally nonfunctional). Though the chances 
of something Like that happening are 
probably Lower than 99 to 1 (just keep 
your battery charged), we recommend 
you do your homework before attempting 
anything, unless you're a fan of very 
expensive paper weights. 

only a few clicks away. No more are you 
required to hook your phone up to the 
desktop and drop down to the command 
line (us early adopters had it harder)! 

What's more you ask? Well if you 
have not already figured it out then 
this would in effect also help you 
get rid of the custom UI (read:HTC 
Sense etc.) if you don't like it. 

A Custom ROM is a modded version 
of the stock operating system and must 
not be confused with rooting. Rooting 
involves gaining superuser privileges but 
installing a custom ROM entails actually 
flashing the ROM (that's the hardware 
component that stores your operating 
system) and replacing what's already on 
there with what you wish. Installing a 
custom ROM requires rooting first, but 
rooting itself is a fairly simple task easily 
achieved by a few clicks without actu- 
ally affecting your stock OS in any way. 

There are a ton of custom ROMs 
available for Android and ROMs such as 
CyanogenMod and MoDaCo are exam- 
ples of very popular ROMs that people 

who want more out of their Android 
smartphones are adopting. They come 
with a whole host of added features such 
as AdFree (no more annoying ads!) and 
ADW Launcher preinsalled. Now we 
can't really afford to delve deep into the 
entire list of added features but what we 
do recommend is you go ahead and do a 
Google search for [YourPhoneModel] 
custom rom to explore and learn more 
about porting these wonderful innova- 
tions on to your Android handset. 

ROM Manager is a great place to 
start if you 
want one app 
bundling your 
entire backup 
and custom 
ROM flashing 
Here's a link to 
the wiki: http:// 

The pitfalls 

No OTA: 

When FroYo 


Google made 

the update available to the Nexus One 

device OTA (over the air). This means 

that the phone would download the 

update when you are in a WiFi zone 

and simply ask if you would like to 

update when ready. This would not 

be possible if you rooted your phone. 

Then again, it is of almost no conse- 

SetCPU allows you to 

Outdated OS? 

The open source advantage of Android is 
also its biggest problem right now. The 
fact that the code is made available to all 
and can be manipulated to your Liking is 
being Leveraged by phone manufacturers 
Like Motorola, HTC and the rest in making 
their own customised user interfaces 
Like the Sense UI designed to give you a 
"better user experience". In fact, what is 
happening is that everytime the company 
Launches a new phone, the engineering 
team is busy porting their UI changes to 
the new model hence ignoring the other 
models who are Left behind using an older 
version of Andoird. This "fragmentation" 
is only an issue because these stubborn 
manufacturers refuse to budge from the 
projects they have invested so much in 
hence Leaving the consumer (You and 
me) using an older and slower version of 
Android with fewer features. Wake up and 
smeLL the coffee! As a consumer you ought 
to have the right to run the Latest iteration 
of the OS on your phone and not Lag behind 
Like the rest of the cattle. 

quence to other Android phone users 
since they have to wait for the phone 
manufacturer to send out the update! 

Warranty voided: Gaining root access 
to your phone would void your phone 
warranty. There are again two sides to 
this coin - firstly, chances are that your 
limited warranty period has already 
expired and secondly, there is no shortage 
of phone repair shops in case something 
does go wrong with the phone. Check 
out Shekhar Kapoor's site here for a very 
interesting read: 

Pricey paperweight: Every site you 
visit to read about installing a custom 
ROM will give you a large warning about 
the chances of bricking your device and 
though the chances are very very slim, 
it still is a possibility. Again, we recom- 
mend you just keep your battery charged. 

It's your call 

Now that all the information you need 
(enlightenment?) has been made available 
to you, we urge you to weigh your priori- 
ties and take a call (not make one). It's 
vital that you understand the horizons 
that open up to you when you choose to 
go down the rooting lane and the many 
perks that come with it. We leave you 
with a quote from J K Rowling - "Never 
trust anuthing that can think for itself if 
you can't see where it keeps it's brain". EI 

Digit I December 2010 I 



Digital life 


WiFi bad for trees? 

Study conducted by Wageningen University , Netherlands shows that 
WiFi radition is actually bad for trees, read more on 

Faster Tabbing 

Next gen Samsung Galaxy Tab touted to feature a 
Dual-Core CPU, Quad Core GPU 

Philips Soundsphere Mci900 

The Mci900, a set of hi-fi speakers, is 
meant for the discerning audiophile and 
is based on the Streamium technology 
that lets you store, stream and play 
music wirelessly. Philips' award winning 
Soundsphere technology is integrated in 
the Mci900. With a touchscreen interface, 
and 160 GB of storage space to store all 
your music, it can also play internet radio. 
Priced at $1,445, this hi-fi audio set is avail- 
able in silver and black editions. 

Ultrasone Edition 8 

The thing with Ultrasone headphones is that by the 
time their new series is out the earlier versions are 
completely sold out, so was the case with Editions 9 
and 7. Currently the Edition 8 is available for 
purchase for $1499. The Edition 8 is handmade in 
Germany and is built around Ultrasone's patented 
S-Logic sound technology, which is Natural Sur- 
round Sound that pushes sound around your head 
giving you a feel that the sound is coming from the 
other side of the room. These are certainly not your 
everyday noise isolating pair of headphones. 

CruderVs Hexatech 
Racing Simulator 

Cruden's Hexatech is a state-of- 
the art professional grade racing 
simulator that gives you a real 
world feel of driving on an actual 
race track. Among its vast fea- 
ture set, it houses three 42-inch 
LCD monitors, G force simula- 
tion, seat belt tensioners and 
loads of steering feedback. It's 
built to last 10-15 years and can 
accommodate upto three people. 
Yours, only for $2,00,000. 

Gamebreaking - COD 

Black Ops sets new world record, earning $650 million 
in the first five days of its release 


CERN traps antimatter 

For the first time, physicists at CERN created and trapped 
38 antihydrogen atoms for one-tenth of one second 

Drool maal 

Bang & Olufsen BeoCenter 2 

A slight flick on the control pad and the Beo Center 2 spreads 
out its wings, with host of features like CD/DVD playback, 
FM tuner and DAB receiver. It displays info in crisp white text 
which automatically adjusts its contrast with change in sur- 
rounding light giving the user optimum viewing experience. 
The BeoCenter 2 is virtually wire free as most of the cables 
are hidden away neatly. Pop in a movie and it activates all the 
speakers in surround sound or engages just the left and right 
speakers when playing audio. Make it a part of your living 

room by shelling out $ 4571. 

Scorpion 6 

If you've been looking for a cheaper variant to an Fl car, 

here's the deal. The Scorpion P6 is the closest you can 

get to having your own Fl racing car. The twist to this 

speeding monster is that instead of four wheels, it sports 

three and does 96 kmph in a mere 3.5 seconds! It comes 

with other nick-knacks such as leather upholstery and 

an Fl-style nose. Tame this Fl prodigy for $29,000; and 

yeah, it's street legal. It's top speed is 273 kmph with an 

engine displacement of 600cc. 

Geneva Labs Home theatre 

The guys at Geneva Labs have created something truly 
unique, giving you the best of both worlds - an elegant 
home furniture decked up with a 7-channel home theatre. 
It features seven speakers blasting at 700 W using a digital 
amplifier including a booming 12-inch subwoofer. The 
equipment is ready to use as it requires almost no installa- 
tion and fixing of hundreds of cables. Just place your LCD 
on top and it's good to go. There's a dock to connect your 
iPod as well. Available in white and black, it's priced at 


Beovision 10 

The latest offering form Bang & Olufsen is a 32-inch edge 

lit HD LED TV. The cool part of this TV is that it's super 

thin, with almost razor sharp edges and will blend in 

perfectly with the other art decor in your living room. 

Staying true to its tradition of making ultra expensive 

home equipments, Bang & Olufsen has priced this set 

between $4,707 to $5,500 depending on your choice of 

accessories. The lower part of the TV is magnetically 

interchangeable with a choice of five different colours. 



Windows is 25 

Microsoft recently celebrated the 25th birthday of 
the Windows operating system 

Melting Rocks 

Netscape founder develops Chrome based social 
networking oriented browser called Rockmelt 

Random PC reboots, widgets and 
modems not connecting! 

Digit QnA brings sanity to the chaos 

3 Unable to access modem 

I have a BSNL broadband connection with 
a ZTE modem. I'm able to surf the inter- 
net for the past two weeks. I'm unable 
to access the router configuration site 1 need to change my PPPoE 
connection to bridge, and for that I need 
to access the configuration site, but it's 
showing errors now. 


i) Check if the gateway for your 
modem is still set as 192 . 168 . 1 . 1. To 
check details of your LAN card, press 

[Windows] + [R] , and then type cmd 
to start the command prompt. Type 
IPCONFIG, and press [Enter] . Check 

The IPCONFIG is an easy way to find your 
gateway IP address 

the gateway IP, and then try accessing it 
instead of 192 . 168 . 1 . 1. If the IP is still 
192. 168. 1.1, then there might be some 
problem. Call up BSNL and ask them to 
rectify the problem, as it could have been 
done on purpose from their end. If you 
are familiar with all the ISP settings, then 
you can 'hard reset' all the settings, but 
will absolutely have to login to the web 
interface to get online then. If it happens 
to be some hardware issue and you still 
can't login, then you will have no internet 

9 Multiple PC problems 

My PC configuration is: 
Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 CPU 2.41 GHz, 
Gigabyte 818 45GVM-RZ motherboard, 
1.24 GB RAM, 400 (80+160+160 external) 
GB hard disk, Windows XP Professional as 

OS. My problems are: 

1. My PC can't play HD videos. Earlier, it 
used to play VLC player, but now it 

2. 1 got an Airtel Broadband 512kbps 
internet connection. After installing the 
connection, my PC has become slow. 
I had received Airtel PC Secure as an 
anti-virus with the package. Is the anti- 
virus the cause of problem? 

3. 1 have a Nokia phone. Along with this, 
I use Nokia PC suite and Ovi Suite to 
connect to my PC. The problem is that 
if I don't use any of the above software 
for at Least two days, then they get 
corrupt. It shows the error "No connec- 
tion was found," due to which I have 
to reinstall it again. The problem is for 
both Nokia PC Suite And Ovi Suite. 


JJ Your system configuration is really 
outdated and new codecs and players 
have higher system requirements for 
playing back HD content well. If you've 
installed an antivirus, then it might 
be taking some resources that would 
normally be available to your media 
player. Anti-viruses do tend to slow 
down PCs. On older configurations 
such as yours, the hit on performance 
will be more than on a reasonably new 
configuration. You need to upgrade your 
system. The internet connectivity prob- 
lem is odd. Try downloading the latest 
update of the Nokia PC suite. 

3 PC restarting randomly 

My computer is an assembled one. It's 
configuration is as follows: 
Motherboard: ASUS P5B-VM 965 chipset, 
DVD-RW Sony DRU-170C, RAM Symtonex 
2GB DDR2 667MHz and KUK 1GB DDR2 
667MHz, CPU Intel Core2duo-4400, 
Powerbox Navtech 450W, Monitor 19 
inch LCD, Speakers Creative 2.1. I want 
to know whether I can use DDR3 and 

DDR5 RAM and a graphics card with my 
motherboard or not? Currently, my PC 
restarts when I open a game on my PC, 
or when I run two or more applications. 
Sometimes, it restarts even before start 
up of Windows. When I take out any one 
RAM stick from the motherboard, this 
restarting problem doesn't happen. Is my 
RAM or hardware faulty? 

Sohail Khan 

4J You can only use DDR2 memory on 
your motherboard. You can use graphics 
cards with any kind of memory though. 
Using different kinds of RAM on a 
system is a bad idea. There are compat- 
ibility issues and could be the cause of 
the random reboots. Switch to a single 
brand and model of memory. A BIOS 
firmware update of your motherboard 
may fix things, but it's a somewhat risky 
process and isn't a guaranteed fix. 

3 Problem using MS office 

I was using Microsoft Office 2010 Beta 
that has now expired. Now I can't open 
my saved documents. However, I have 
genuine Microsoft Office 2007 already 
installed on my computer. Can I revert to 
Office 2007 to open the documents as I 
don't want to buy the new version.Would 
uninstalling the beta version help? Apart 

Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack far Vitxd, ExceL and 
ftwwrPwrtt FUt Formate 


The compatibility pack for older MS Office 
versions is freely available on Microsoft's site 


Digit I December 2010 I 


E-Ink goes colour 

Companies to develop and Launch E-Ink tablets with 
colour support soon 


More Foxconn trouble 

Foxconn faced more opposition in the form of protests over 
poor working conditions and wages 


from switching to different office suites is 
there any other way? 

RahuL Roy 

X) Install the free Microsoft Office 
compatibility pack from Microsoft's site 
(http://bit.Ly/aVUK8) and you should be 
able to open Office 2010 files in older 
versions. You might have to install essen- 
tial patches recommended by Microsoft 
for your version of Office. 

9 Flash drive doesn't work 

I cannot access my Sandisk Cruzer Micro 
4GB pendrive. Whenever I connect it to 
any computer, a dialog box opens and asks 
for formatting that it cannot complete. I 
tried many antiviruses but none of them 
can detect the problem. 


Jj Try connecting the drive to a differ- 
ent system and format it there. If it gives 
you the same problem, then it might be 
faulty. If the drive is within warranty 
period, replace it. 

9 Drivers for new OS 

I have an HP Pavilion dv6500-powered 
by 64*2 mobile Turion processor and 960 
MB RAM. The OS is Windows Vista Home 
Premium. My laptop is slower than a snail. 
I want to format it, but don't have the 
necessary driver CD. Can I format it using 
XP or Windows 7 without needing any 
driver CDs? If there's no other way, where 
can I find / download those driver CDs? 
Also, how can I access my webcam? 

Neetesh Poudel 

Jj Some of the components on your 
laptop will work without drivers, but 
you're bound to run into problems with 
your video adapter, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 
software for hotkey functions. All the 
necessary drivers should be available 
on HP's web site. Contact the HP service 
centre to help you with drivers. 

9 Core \7 system is not fast 

My configuration is as follows: 

Processor: Core \7 950, Motherboard: Asus 

Sabertooth x58, RAM: 6GB Transcend 
133FSB (triple channel), Graphics card: 
Zotac GTX 460 1 GB, SMPS: Zebronics 
Pro 600W, Cabinet: CoolerMaster cm690 
Advance. Although I run Windows 7 (64 
bit), my system seems to be very slow. 
Is there any settings that need to be 
changed or edited? 


JJ If you haven't installed any drivers, 
you will see a performance hit. I recom- 
mend updating to the latest drivers for 
the Intel X58 chipset and the NVIDIA 
GeForce GTX460. 

9 Worth adding more than 
2 GB of RAM? 

I am not familiar with some terms such 
as Firewire and eSATA. What do they 
mean? I want to add a 2GB DDR2 stick 
to my computer to enjoy more speed and 
better performance. Currently, I have Zion 
2x2GB DDR2 800 MHz intalled on my 
computer running Windows 7 Home Basic 
32 bit. When I right-click on My Computer, 
it shows 4 GB intalled, but only 3.25 GB 
as usable. When I referred the mother- 
board manual, I learnt that to enjoy full of 
4GB or more I should install Windows 7 
64 bit. If I want to add 2 GB RAM, should 
it be of the same clock frequency? Can I 
install a 1,066/1,333 MHz stick? Should it 
be of the same company? Can I get full 
juice from my computer when I have a 
total of 6 GB? Will there be any perfor- 

$y#em Retfqie 

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Gmul Compur* 

Nm Kvdwwe Advanced 


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1 GOGH*. 3.23 GB d RAM 


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32-bit operating systems cannot utilize 
more than 3.25 GB of memory 

mance boost or just a waste of money? 

My system configuration: 

AMD Athlon II X4 630 

ASUS M4A785D-M PRO motherboard 

Zion 2X2 GB DDR2 800 MHz 

Seagate 500 GB 7500.12 

Pratik Ranjan Bhuyan 

SJ Firewire and eSATA are, in a way, 
quite similar to USB. They are data trans- 
fer mediums to connect external devices. 
eSATA is primarily used for hard drives 
where as Firewire is used for drives as 
well as some other devices such as high- 
end cameras. Firewire and eSATA aren't 
as popular as USB. 

Increasing the total memory more 
than 4 GB isn't going to add to your 
system performance. Thirty two-bit 
operating systems cannot use more 
than 3.25 GB or so of memory. To be 
able to use the entire 4 GB, you need to 
upgrade to a 64-bit operating system. 
Also, check the memory remapping 
feature in the BIOS. While upgrading 
memory, try and buy the same model 
and make of memory to avoid compat- 
ibility issues. 

9 Weather widget won't 
update data 

I have installed Vista rain bar 4.3, but the 
weather gadget doesn't response. What 
can I do? I use Windows XP SP2. 

Pankaj Kumar 

Jj The weather widget gets its infor- 
mation from the internet. If you aren't 
connected to the web at all times, it won't 
be able to update. If you're using a fire- 
wall, allow access to the widget. 

9 SCSI/RAID host control- 
ler errors 

I've been facing a strange problem for 
the past five days. Whenever I switch on 
my computer, a message pops up saying 
"Welcome to the found new hardware 
wizard. This wizard helps you install 
software for SCSI/RAID host control- 
ler." When I click "install the software 
automatically," it says "an error occurred 
during the installation of the device. 
The specific service does not exist as an 
installed service." What is SCSI/RAID 

Digit I December 2010 I 121 





Hitach Launches their 
drive that spins at 7200 


3TB drive 

rjew 3TB Deskstar desktop 

Editable GDocs for iOS/Android 

Google Docs editing support was recently made 
available for Android 2.2 and iOS devices 

host controller? How can I install it on my 

Susanta Mandal 

dJ The SCSI/RAID chips on your moth- 
erboard require drivers to operate. If you 
aren't using a SCSI or RAID setup, the 
feature can be disabled from the BIOS. 
Enter the BIOS setup during bootup, and 
turn off the feature. Save and reboot. This 
should stop the message from showing 
up. If you're using a SCSI or RAID drive 
setup, check the motherboard driver disc 
for drivers. 

^ PMP won't play encoded 

I have a Sony Digital Media Player 
NWZ-E444 that is supposed to play only 
MP4 video format. I download videos 
from YouTube and use video converters to 
convert them to MP4. After converting, I 
transfer them to the walkman using the 
software provided by Sony. After I switch 
on the walkman, go to videos and press 
Play, the following message appears: 
"Video format not supported." I reinstalled 
the video converter and transfer software, 
but it doesn't help. I face this problem 
only with a few videos. Is there any way to 


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Mediacoder is a free transcoder that can be used to 
convert videos from one format to another 

the video can vary. Not all encod- 
ers accept the commonly distrib- 
uted video formats properly. If 
this is the case, then the video may 
not be getting encoded properly. 
You can also try other transcoders 
such as Mediacoder ( to try and encode to 
MP4, but using different codecs 
such as Xvid and x264. Find the 
setting that works best for your 
PMP, and continue using it for all 
future encoding tasks. 

3 Blinking line of light 
on display 

I have an HP Pavilion laptop with 
4GB RAM, 320 GB hard disk, and a 
Core 2 Duo processor. My problem 
is that a line of light blinks on my 
taskbar. What should I do? 

Shrawan Kumar 

d) If the line blinks even when 
it isn't in Windows, then it might be a 
damaged panel. Take the laptop to the 
HP service center to have it looked at. 

ft VBS errors on Windows 

My PC system configuration is: 
Intel dual core 
Asus P5kPL-CM mother- 
board, Windows XP SP2 
8400gs 512 MB, 
Dynet 1GB DDR2 RAM 
667MHz. My PC doesn't boot 
up completely. After scan- 
ning the hard disk, when 
the prompt for password 
appears, it starts reboot- 
ing. It boots up perfectly 
without any problem during 
the second instance. Also, it 
shows a "Windows cannot 
find antivirus. vbs file" 

Gursewak singh 

Startup and Recovery 


System startup 

(kfotft operatiig system: 



\7\ frne to display fist of operethg systems: 

|_j Tme to djsplay recovery options when needed: 






System failure 

y] write m event to the system log 
J Automatical* restart 

i iiu; t« -i— *-■ ,,,,m,,, i f n 

WThe OeOuyipiu *f»UHi«DQTI 

I tfemd memory du^np 

Dump fie: 

J Overwrite any exsbng file 



The startup and recovery menu allows you to 
delete and modify entries 

t^iwpHi r*Mr 

i *« 

make the player play other video formats? 
Pranav Kumar 

J*} There could be a number of reasons 
for the problem you're facing. MP4 is just 
a container and the codec used to encode 

d) There must be some kind of a virus 
in your Windows system. The VBS error 
message is to due to that worm or virus. 
Fix the virus problem and then check if 
the rebooting issues continue. 

ft Removing boot entries 

I have a Compaq Presario SG2044 IL. 
My system configuration is as follows: 
Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.20 GHz 
RAM: 1 GB, hard disk: Western Digital 
80 GB. I use Avast Free Edition. I had 
Windows XP SP3 and Windows 7 Ultimate 
Build 7100 installed on my computer. 
But I didn't like Windows 7 so I format- 
ted the D: partition. During startup, it 
tells me to choose between Windows XP 
and Windows 7, although I don't have 
Windows 7 anymore. How do I get rid of 

Aishik Saha 

JJ When you format the partition, the 
boot loader entries for the two operat- 
ing systems aren't deleted. To remove 
the entry go to System in the Windows 
Control Panel. Then, navigate to 
Advanced settings and go to Startup and 
Recovery. Delete the entries for Windows 
7, save and reboot. 

% Any way to speed up a 
graphics card? 

I use an Intel dualcore 2.80 GHz proces- 
sor, Intel motherboard, 3 GB of RAM, 
250GB HDD. I also use ASUS EN8400GS 
512MB graphics card. But according to 



Digit I December 2010 I 


Dell doing well 

Dell profits rose 144 per cent; most of the money came 
from the enterprise sector 


512-Core Cluster 

A company by the name of SeaMicro recently showed off 
their 512 Atom processor powered cluster 


experts, the graphics card I'm using is 
too slow. I can also feel that when I play 
games on my Windows 7 64-bit. Is there 
any way to speed up my graphics card? 
I like to play Assassins Creed, Prince of 
Persia, and NFS. 

Kesavadev R J 
i) The GeForce 8400GS is a very basic 
graphics card. Overclocking graphics 

The GeForce 8400GS isn't meant for 
playing high-end games 

cards is possible, but the improvement on 
a card such as the GeForce 8400GS will 
yield close to no benefit. Upgrading the 
graphics card is the only real solution if 
you play a lot of games. 

9 DVD drive woes 

My system configuration is as follows: 
Motherboard: ASUS M4N68T-M 
Processor: AMD Phenom2 x2 550 
RAM: Strontium 2GB (1,333MHz) 
OS: Windows XP SP2 
UPS: APC back-UPS RS 550 
DVD drive: Sony (SATA), ASUS (IDE) 
HDD: Seagate 80GB (IDE) 
SMPS: Frontech 350W 
Monitor: Samsung SyncMmaster 591s 
I first tried Windows 7 that worked prop- 
erly, but because of limited HDD space, I 
changed it to Windows XP. 

Now when I try to load Windows 7 
with the same disk, it shows missing 
DVD driver messages with the error code 
0x80070017 Also, my DVD drives don't 
autoplay any more. Some times when 
I put blank disks in to the Sony drive, it 
shows errors such as "h : is not acces- 

Allen John 

s& The error you're facing is because 
of a corrupted disc or a faulty drive. 
Make sure that all the connections to 
the drive are perfect. If possible, try a 

different power connector and cable. 
You can also try the drive on a differ- 
ent PC. If you face the same problem 
there, it's almost definitely a problem 
with the drive. You need to purchase a 
new one. 

% RAM issues causing star- 
tup problems? 

My PC configuration is: 

Intel \1 - 950 @ 3.06 GHz 

Intel Original DX58SO motherboard 

Corsair DDR3 RAM (TR3X6G1600C8D) 

6GB Kit. 8-8-8-24 1.65V Version 7.1A 

WD Black (WD1002FAEX) 

Cooler Master 600 W Power supply. 

Dual Boot XP x64 and Windows 7 x64. 

I've attached the CPU-Z log file for 

detail reference. I purchased this PC in 


The dealer installed 4 GB Corsair 
XMS3 RAM kit for 6 GB RAM. When 
I asked for the dominator, he 
provided me new Corsair DDR3 RAM 
(TR3X6G1600C8D) 6GB Kit, with some 
extra money. 

Ever since this RAM is installed, it 
hangs with a POST No display. When I 
switch the system again after power off, 
it gives an error that says, "The System 
BIOS has detected unsuccessful POST 
attemps Possible causes include recent 
changes to BIOS performance options 
or recent hardware changes." 

Irrespective of whether I select Y or 
N, it works fine on the next boot. My PC 
works fine until I shut it down and start 
again. I searched for the solution online 
and came to know that this RAM volt- 
age is higher than recommended. Is it 

If this is the case, what should I do: 
change the RAM or tweak the mother- 
board settings to under value voltage 
(risky for me). Right now I'm using my 
PC for a Long time. Will it be risky for my 
motherboard or processor? If I have to 
change my RAM, which one would be 


JJTypically, the motherboard should 
detect all of its parameters and run flaw- 
lessly. Reset all CMOS settings to default 
and see if the problems continue. 

ft Annoying alerts locking 
up system 

When I start my desktop with XP 
Professional OS, a warning message 
appears at the lower corner stating "your 
computer may be at risk. Automatic 
upgrades are switched off ...". I'm fine with 
the message, but till it appears it freezes 
several programs including Windows 
Explorer. How can I disable this warning 

Chandra Mohan Vathyam 

(f AutemttK UfHi«lr. 


fy YiriK Protection 

AUntK s«ct»K> ittunp for: 

Disable all the alerts from the Windows 
Security Center 

i^ Go to the Windows Security Center 
in the Control Panel. Click on the Change 
the way Security Center alerts me link in 
the left panel. Disable the alerts you don't 
want to see. 

9 Nonstop BSODs 

My PC has been getting numerous BSODs. 
Making changes to the BIOS configuration 
and installing Vista haven't helped either. 
What could the problem be? 

Ashish Badoni 

\J If formatting and reinstalling the 
OS doesn't hepl, the problem might 
lie with some of the hardware. Try 
running memory diagonistic tests such 
as Memtest86+ ( Also 
install the latest drivers for your mother- 
board and graphics cards. Install a soft- 
ware called SpeedFan ( 
speedfan.php). Look out for rising CPU 
and graphics card temperatures. If those 
are spiralling out of control, you should 
look for problems with the fan. EI 

Digit I December 2010 I 123 






Samsung is going to be Launching their flagship 
dual core Android Galaxy S early next year running 
on their Cortex A9 based Orion processors 

Mobile developer journey 

Here's a really interesting infographic depicting the 
journey of a mobile apps developer, from development to 
monetisation : 

Rudresh Jariwala 

rudresh.j@thinkdigit. com 

It does not matter if you 
are on Windows, Linux or 
a Mac. Building Android 
applications is a task 
easily performed on any plat- 
form (why Apple won't you do 
the same?). Don't even have an 
Android phone? No problem! 
And here's the kicker, you 
don't even need to know how 
to write a single line of code! 
This is the magic that Google's 
App Inventor makes possible 
for you and they have tested it 

Operating system 

• Macintosh (with Intel proc- 
essor): Mac OS X 10.5, 10.6 

• Windows: Windows XP, Win- 
dows Vista, Windows 7 

• GNU/Linux: Ubuntu 8+, 
Debian 5+ 


Note: It is imperative that step 
2 is completed successfully 
in order to proceed with App 
Inventor development. 

App Inventor 

• MAC user's may download 
the file from here: http://goo.gL/ 

• Linux: the software will be 
installed under /usr /google/ 
appinventor- setup. 

Upon starting App Inventor 
for the first time (it runs in a web 
browser), in the Blocks Editor, 
the system will ask for the loca- 
tion of the adb program. The 
path is: 

/usr /google /appin- 
ventor /commands- for- 

• Windows: Click through 
the installer, but do not change 

Build your own Android application using 

Google's App Inventor 

on students sixth grade and up 
in the United States along with 
others without a background 
in coding. Google's site reads 
"App Inventor requires NO pro- 
gramming knowledge. This is 
because instead of writing code, 
you visually design the way 
the app looks and use blocks 
to specify the app's behavior." 
You will need an invitation 
to start using App Inventor 
but by filling out a simple form 
on is all it will take on 
your behalf. Simply follow the 
instructions provided here to 
set up your phone and computer 
(or go to http://goo.gL/Do4Ct). So 
let's get started, here's what you 
will need- 
Set up your phone 
and computer 

Step 1: Your computer will need 
to meet the following system 
requirements before you can 
download the App Inventor 
Extras Software. 

Always wanted to create your own Android 
application? Don't possess any program- 
ming knowledge? Consider this your 
"Android applications for dum-dums" guide 
and create fully functional apps without a 
single line of code 

Browser: (simply put, the 
more recent, the better) 

• Mozilla Firefox 3.6 and higher 

• Apple Safari 5.0 and higher 

• Google Chrome 4.0 and higher 

• Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 
and higher 

Step 2: Install Java 6 (i.e., Java 

• Download and install Java 
from (x86 Win- 
dows and Linux vesions avail- 
able on the DVD), Java comes 
pre-installed on the Mac. 

• Test if your Java is installed: 

• Try downloading and 
running one of these Java 
web Start demos: http://goo.gL/ 

Step 3: Install the App 
Inventor Extras software 
• Windows and Linux users 
will find the installer files on 
the DVD 

the installation location. Record 
the installation directory, 
because you'll need it to check 
the driver 

Drivers for common 
Android devices may be found 
in the App Inventor Extras 
package. For further informa- 
tion please visit: http://goo.gL/ 

Step 4: Set up your phone 

• From your phone's home 

,-t^ App Inventor 

My Atf* Design 

^^3 ^^^^3 ^^^^^3 

y | P-b&mjc for Ptefio * | 

Wot randy far prima 

User interface designer that runs in the browser 


Digit I December 2010 I 



Happy birthday Android 

Android turned 3 on the 13 th of November and 
is now the 2 nd Largest mobile platform in the 
world after Symbian 


Nl not dead 

The Nexus One is not fully dead yet. the Google phone is 
now available as the 'developer phone' to those interested 
in developing applications for the Androd platform 



If you don't have an android 
device, or would prefer devel- 
oping and testing only on your 
computer, then fret not, for 
Google's got you covered. Using 
the Android emulator you can 
do almost everything that a 
phone can (except for shaking 
it) and all you need to do is head 
over to: 

screen, select the menu, then 
Settings, then Applications. 
• If your phone has an Unknown 

Sources box, it should be turned 
on (checked). 

• Still on the Applications 
screen, tap Development. 

• Make sure both USB Debug- 
ging and Stay Awake are 

• Go back to the Settings screen 
(you can tap the Back button 
twice to get there). 

• Tap Sound & Display and 
scroll down to Orientation and 
make sure it's not checked. 

Note: On some phones there 
might be be only a Display set- 
tings item. If so, tap that and 
make sure that the Auto-rotate 
screen item is not checked. 

• Make sure your phone is 

unlocked - 

that is, ready 

to make a call 

or run an app. 

Connect the 

cable from the 

phone to the 


USB port. 

You should 

see two new 


appear on the phone, with icons 

in the status bar: 

• A "USB connected" notifica- 
tion that the phone is connected 
to the computer via USB. 

• A "USB debugging con- 
nected" notification that the 

Blocks Editor Java file that runs locally on your 

phone has USB debugging 
turned on. 

Note: If you don't 
see both these notifica- 
tions, then check to make 
sure that the phone settings are 
correct and that the USB cable is 

App Inventor For Android Blocks Editor: AndroPaint 

Saved | Undo ] 


when ButtonWhite.Click 

when BirttonBlue.Click 



when ButtonYellow.Click 




^^ ButtonOrange.Click 

i t -i» . 



,„ t ■ 




ta " Canvas.Clear | 


to phone [?] Zoom 

1 ■ n CanvasColourPicker.AfterPicking 

if test 

then-do | 

f fJ f 

CanvasColourPicker.Selection | = * tex White | 




r White 

" ien Canvas. Dragged start x £ name startx 




CanvasColourPicker.Selection | ~ ^ text Black | 


start Y 
current X 








then-do I 

* fy ' f _ f s ~^ 

rj CaiTvasCalourPicker.Selectian | ~ ^ 

current Y 
dragged Sprite 







■t fy ; r f r-^ 

K CanvasColQiirPicker.SelectiQn ~ + 


t to j 



f* value 

V/ j pievX 

.DrawLine v9 f* „,,... 





if test 

fy : [ i 

1 Blue 



V f r* 

rj CanvasColQiirPicker.SelectiQn = '* e Yellow 

CaiTvas.BackgroundColor i 

r Yellow 

if test f^ri f f^TZ 

K CairvasColourPicker.Selection | = ", e * Pink 

then-do f 


when Canvas 

Touched * [ 






touched Sprite \" 

13 me 

touchedSprite | 


call ;. 



- 1 



„ t ...» 



J f H 

K CaiTvasColQurPicker.Selection = '* iext Orange 

e u L i 
to t C0 , r n I 
CaiTvas.BackgroundColor \ Orange | 

Text j Lists | Math | Logic | Control | C olors | 


AndroPaint blocks : Blocks of our final AndroPaint application 


Digit I December 2010 I 




Serious about code? 

If you are serious about Android development you can head over to http:// or here's another great resource to get started with 
Java for Android 


Augmented Reality 

The future of Android user interfaces: 

Display on your phone when 
you are ready to start building 

plugged in correctly. You should 
see the two icons appear and 
disappear as you connect and 
disconnect the phone. 

Your computer and phone 
are now ready to start App 
Inventor development. Let's 

Connect App Inven- 
tor to your phone 

Setting up App Inventor does 
involve a few more steps, but 
there is a need for downloading 
a "Code Blocks" * .jnlp Java file 
to run locally on your system 
everytime you restart, so head 
over to http://goo.gL/NWILAand 
continue to follow the instruc- 
tions there. Your App Inventor 
app's user interface designer 
will run in the web browser (we 
recommend you give Chrome a 
spin if you're not already using 
it) and communicates via the 
codeblocks.jnlp blocks editor 
which inturn is communicating 
with your Android smartphone 
if you have one. Once you have 
the designer and blocks editor 
up and running, proceed to 
this tutorial: and 
follow the instructions to create 
your first Android applica- 
tion "HelloPurr" using App 

Creating your first Android 


If you encounter an error as the 
heading of the box above when 
connecting to phone using the 
Blocks Editor then a quick fix 
can be found here: 

application should be a fairly 
simple task if you follow the 
instructions and understand 
how changes you make to the 
Blocks Editor application run- 
ning in the "jnlp file affect the 
behaviour of the application 

@HDOtJ 13:33* 

Hello world : Screenshot of our 
first Android app 


Only proceed forward from 
this point after you have com- 
pleted the first tutorial on the 
App Inventor website. We 
are assuming from this point 
onward that you have com- 
pleted building your first simple 
Android app 

On to more serious 

Feels great to get your hands 
dirty, doesn't it? Worry not, we 
are here to whet your appetite 
more. We are going to show 
you how to build your very 


B H Screen 1 

5 0CofourBar 

--Button White 
^Button Black 
« Button Green 

— ButtonBlue 
_ ButtonYellow 

— ButtonPink 

— Button Orange 
-a Canvas 

6 H Bottom Bar 

I Button Erase 


Rename... Delete... 

AndroPaint designer : User interface and components of our 
final app 

own customised version of a 
freehand painting app. 

Though there is an existing 
paint tutorial, we have made 
our own modifications to the 
application and presented it 
here. Look closely at the screen- 
shots provided and follow along 
to finish building your own 
Android paint application. 

Tip: To save your master- 
piece, download and install any 
screenshot application from the 


Screenshot of the AndroPaint 
app running on the phone 


The Android "Market" is the 
place Android users go to get all 
their apps. Google has recently 
made available to users in India 
the facility of buying apps on 
the Market without any nasty 
"USD" on the price tag. 

Android Market. 

Watch out coders! 

Now that you have created 
your first two Android appli- 
cations and are a little more 
familiar with the workflow, 
we recommend you go ahead 
with the rest of the tutorials 
on the App Inventor site 
( Though 
App Inventor does not give 
you as much control over your 
apps as hardcore keyboard 
punching does, the quality of 
apps that can be built using 
App Inventor are quite high as 
can be seen in the tutorials. So 
we won't hold you any longer, 
but we will say this: build 
long, build hard, good luck 
and Godspeed! Q 


Digit I December 2010 I 



A tool that Lets you monitor your weight, over the 
cloud. You can track your diet and nutrition too 


Jolicloud netbook 

The JoLicLoud Jolibook, a netbook running the cloud OS is 
available for sale for £280 (approximately ?20,200) 


Cloud for your Applications 

We show you how to 
access Windows apps 
on the cloud - without 
installing them 

S.Doumuansiam Simte 

Most of the work we do 
in general, requires us 
to have different kinds 
of software installed on 
our systems. It's difficult to carry these 
software whenever we go - for example, 
from home to work. Perhaps, it's one of 
the largest drawbacks. The solution to 
this problem is an online service called This service enables users 
to access Windows software to be run 
from a web browser itself. It's useful for 
those who don't carry portable storage 
drives and don't want the hassles of 
having plugin the flash drive everytime. 

It helps application publishers 
and IT administrators to significantly 
reduce the costs and complexity 
associated with development, setup, 
configuration, deployment, and main- 
tenance of software applications. 
One of the biggest advantages is not 
having to install a copy of the soft- 
ware on every PC that you work on. uses a plugin which in 
turn downloads and executes Win- 
dows binaries from a browser. As of 
now, can only be used on 
Windows operating systems. 
There isn't yet a plugin for 
Linux and Mac OS. It's recom- 
mended that web browsers 
such as Firefox 3.0 to 4.0 beta 
6, Internet Explorer are used. 

Account creation 

To create an account, click on 
the sign-in button on the top 
right of the image. Here, click 
on the Create a free Spoon 
account. Enter the necessary 
details, and click on Create, to 
experience life on the cloud. 


Create Account 

Confirm Password: 

Creating an account 

Installing the plugin 

Log into your account using the same 
steps we used to create the account. 
Here, you'll see a bar at the top of 
the page to download and install the plugin. Click on the button. 
Save the file, close the browser and 
install the program. Re-login the site 
when the plugin has been installed. 

Running software online 

Once logged in, browse to either Apps 
or Games. There is a wide variety of 
software and games at your disposal. 
Click on the application you want to 
run. A short summary of the software 
and other similar software will be 
shown. To run the app, click on the 
Launch button or you can click on 
the thumbnail on the left of the page. 
Depending on the size of the software 
and also the speed of your internet 
connection, the loading should happen 
within a few minutes. You can then 
use the program to load, save and 

Launching applications on a browser 

Services to use with allows you to run software in the 
browser without the need to install them. 
Similarly, web services such as DropBox 
( and SpiderOak (www. useful online services 
that can be used for storing, sharing and 
updating data. The main advantage of using 
services such as DropBox and SpiderOak 
is that they are simple and easy to 
understand. They support Windows, Linux, 
Mac and Android operating systems. . 

work on files on your local drive. 

Saving preferences 

Every time a software runs, it creates 
the necessary configuration files on the 
hard drive. So, the next time you load 
the software, the software regains those 

Submit an App to Spoon 

Submitting an application to the 

settings. The settings aren't saved on 
the cloud, so you'll still need to setup 
preferences if you use a different PC. 

Submitting your own soft- 

If you're a software developer or a 
large organization that uses propri- 
etary software, you can submit your 
own applications. However, there is a 
more formal submission process for it. 
You can do so by clicking the Submit 
App link in the footer of the page. Q 

Digit I December 2010 I 



Street smart 



Price watch 

The Latest prices of all your computing accessories 
and peripherals, so you can plan your purchase better 


Know your rights 

All your concerns as a 
consumer addressed here 

Entering the 
third dimension 

This one is for the early adopters 

Agent 001 

We have been seeing 
these devices for the 
last couple of years, prom- 
ising an immersive experi- 
ence to users. In January 2010, at the annual 
Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, 
this category got the boost that was needed 
to put it onto the consumer market. This 
category is now ready to enter our homes 
and not just be a promise for the upcoming 
future. We are talking about 3D TVs. 

Since mid-2010 we have been seeing 
a lot of the major players in the HDTV 
segment rolling out their 3D TV models. 
Samsung got the ball rolling with its 
C7000 and C8000 series of LED LCD 
3D TVs followed by Sony launching 
the Bravia monolithic 3D LCD TVs. 

The advertising is as always, exaggerated, 
depicting ballerinas or butterflies coming 
out of the flat screen 3D TV to stress upon 
the USP of immersion. So I set out in search 
for the perfect 3D TV that money can buy. 

The choices 

Three brands - Samsung, Sony and Pana- 
sonic have been pushing forth their 3D TVs 
in the Indian market quite aggressively. A 
visit to the nearest consumer electronics 
store will not suffice for you to see all the 
models as this is still a very niche product 
category, and a very pricey one at that. At 
most you will get to see a couple of 3D TVs 
on display, and you have to really grill the 
customer care executive, to know about 
more models and other brands. Another 
sad thing we noticed was the absence of 
3D glasses accompanying the 3D TVs on 
display. You will have to request for a pair 
of active 3D glasses to see the TV in full 3D 
glory. At other times, a 3D TV will have 
standard 2D content playing on it such that 
it merges with the other LED/LCD/Plasma 

TVs. So keep a 
look out for that 
3D logo on the 
TV's bezel sticker. 
Samsung has 
used the LED 
LCD technology 
for most of it's models 
and there is one LCD 
3D and one Plasma 
3D model as well. LG 
has stuck with LED 
LCD technology for it's 
3D TVs. Sony uses the 
LCD technology in its Bravia line of 3D 
TVs while Panasonic has Plasma 3D TVs. 
All the brands start from 40 inches and 
go up to 55 inches in case of the LED LCD 
3D TVs whereas Panasonic has products 
going all the way to 65 inches. One major 
advantage Samsung has over all the other 
brands is the manufacturing unit, which 
is located in India. This gives Samsung 
an upper hand as far as pricing goes. 


Since we still don't have 3D broadcasts 
here, we are assuming that the 3D content 
watched on the TV will be from a 3D HD 
Blu-Ray player, that involves an additional 
investment. But fret not, you can view your 
2D content on the TV without any hitch and 
do all the things that you would on your 
normal HDTV Also Samsung has enabled 
all its 3D TVs with the option of converting 
2D content to 3D by the press of a button. 


Most of the 
showrooms that 
I went to, had 
Samsung and 
Sony Bravia 3D 
TVs on dis- 
play. Samsung 
C7000 series' 
40 inch model sells for ^1,20,000 whereas 
the 46 inch is priced at ^1,56,000. The higher 
C8000 series 46-inch model is available 
at ^1,75,000. All these TVs come with a 
single pair of active-shutter 3D glasses. All 
of them come with four HDMI 1.4 ports, 
two USB ports but none of them ship with 
a HDMI cable. So factor in the additional 
cost of the HDMI cable, if you need it. 

Panasonic TY-EW3D10 active shutter 3D 

The Sony Bravia HX800 line starts 
with 40-inch models priced at ^1,20,000 
whereas the 46-inch model costs ^1,60,000. 
It again comes with four HDMI 1.4 ports. 
Sony bundles in two pairs of 3D glasses 
with each TV which is quite good. 

Now, I keep having heated debates and 
discussions with the guys from Team Digit 
about the latest technologies in the market. 
In one such session, Nimish mentioned 
something interesting. He had been to 
the launch of Panasonic's 3D event called 
Dimensions in Mumbai (you can read 
about the event here : http://bit.Ly/akV6Rn) 
few months ago, where he got a chance to 
watch 3D content on a 65-inch screen. He 
was quite impressed by what he saw as 
they had displayed a Panasonic Plasma 
3D TV beside an LED LCD 3D TV which 
gave him a quick comparison. Tilting your 
head on the side, is one thing you should 
do with any 3D TV as he said that in the 
LED TVs the brightness changed as you 
tilted your head sideways. Note that tip. 

I did not get to see any other brands in the 
multi-brand showrooms I window shopped 
at, so you will have to check out dedicated 
showrooms to get a first hand experience 
of the 3D capability of the TV Be sure to 
bargain for an extra set of active shutter 3D 
glasses, as it costs ?4,000 in the market. 

Informed decision 

Scarcity of 3D content is one of the major 
points to ponder on before you make a pur- 
chase. The whole 3D eco-system - involving 
shooting, editing and broadcasting in 3D - 
will take at least a couple of years to become 
mainstream. However, Panasonic 
while launching it's 3D range 
of products, had given clear 
indications that 
it is working 
with Bol- 
lywood and TV production 
houses to create 3D con- 
tent for consumption on a 3D TV 

Till then you can enjoy 3D content off 
a compatible 3D HD Blu-Ray player. Your 
Sony PS3 is also capable of playing 3D 
Blu Ray content with a firmware upgrade. 
I would like to conclude by saying that 
as far as 3D TV is concerned, bigger is 
better. So go for a large screen to get a 
complete immersive experience, d 


Digit I December 2010 I 



Killer rigs 

Build the system to suit your needs. 
Choose from 4 configurations 


Camera installed in the head 

An assistant professor from New York University is getting a camera 
surgically embedded to the back of his head as part of a museum project 

Agent 001 

E P&S camera for 

I'm planning to buy a camera with a good 
zoom, good picture stabilisation and lots 
of modes which can be selected manually 
while taking a photo. Mostly the photos 
I capture are either of nature or portrait. 
I'm not a professional but a starter in 
photography. I researched and selected 
two models, Canon PowerShot SX120 IS 
and Nikon Coolpix L110. 
Now I'm confused which one to buy. 
Could you please help me with one? Also 
let me know if there are any other better 
models as well. My budget is ^15,000. 

Shrinivas Patil 

" We recommend going in for the 
Canon PowerShot SX120 IS over the 
Nikon L110. The SX120 IS might have a 
smaller zoom lens but its more than 
sufficient for your needs. 

CE Need recommendations 
for rig 

I want to assemble a PC at the earliest. I 
have chosen the following configuration. 
Please let me know if this is good enough. 

1. Intel Core i5 650 

2. Intel DH55TC or Intel DH55HC 
(undecided which one to choose) 

3. 2 GB DDR3 1333 MHz Kingston RAM 

4. Samsung P2370 MS Monitor 

5. Windows 7 HP 64 bit 

6. Seagate Barracuda 500GB 
ST3500418AS 7200.12 

7 Cabinet (undecided) 

8. Power Supply (undecided) 

9. Microsoft Keyboard and Mouse 

10. Samsung DVD dual layer drive 

11. APC UPS. 

I am not into gaming so don't want a 
graphics card. Please help me on the 
serial no 2,7 and 8. Is the above configura- 
tion good enough to run 64 bit version of 
Windows 7 HP. What would be the esti- 
mated cost of the above system compo- 
nent wise? 

Ankur Jain 

Look for a Gigabyte, ASUS or MSI 
motherboard instead, based on the H55 
chipset. The ASUS P7H55 is a suitable 
board for around the same price as the 
Intel H55 board. The Cooler Master 

Elite 430 is a decent cabinet and look 
to a Corsair CX400 power supply for 
the configuration. 

It's hard to give you an accurate price. 
The cost of the system without the UPS 
should be around ^46,000. 

E Upgrading my existing rig 

I want to upgrade my PC so that I can 
play all the latest games (like Crysis) even 
minimum or medium level graphics would 
do. I want to install Windows 7. My PC 
configuration is : 

Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 @ 1.86 GHz 
Intel D946GZIS motherboard 
1 GB RAM (512x2 @ 667 MHz) 
AOC 20" monitor e2043Fs (which I've 
recently bought) 
200 GB Seagate hard disk 
Creative SoundBlaster 5.1 w/ EAX effect 
(dosen't support Vista or Windows 7) 
Creative 5.1 Inspire speakers 
I want to know till what limit can I 
upgrade my RAM to. Please suggest a 
good graphic card also for my config. I'm 
thinking about XFX GeForce 9500GT 1 
GB. A sound card too which can provide 
support for Windows 7 Do suggest any 
other changes if necessary, my budget is 
around ?10,000 for my hardware upgrade. 
Akshay Kadam 

E3 The motherboard you have can 
support up to 4 GB of memory (two 
DIMMs with support for 2GB each). 
Spending on a sound card is only worth 
it if you're purchasing a high-end 
speaker set. The onboard sound 
solution should work just fine on 
Windows 7. The GeForce 9500GT along 
with an entry-level Core 2 Duo cannot 
perform well enough for a high- end 
game such as Crysis. If you are looking 
for a graphics card upgrade, look at a 
GeForce GT240 from ZOTAC or ASUS. 
If you are into gaming, we recommend 
upgrading your entire system. 

CE Looking to buy a new 

I have been wanting to buy a nice SLR but 
have not been able to do so because of the 
price tag. ALL the peopLe that I have asked 
for suggestions recommend cameras 
worth 50,000 which I cannot afford. I 

need a camera that I can pLay with, to get 
different kinds of pictures using aperture 
size shutter speed, where I can manuaLLy 
focus on objects and get good pictures and 
effects. A camera that I can experiment 
with and at the same time Learn to shoot. 
I wouLd want the camera to have enough 
features so that it does not Limit my Learn- 
ing experience. CLoserto ^20,000 
wouLd be ideal but I aLso don't want to 
compromise on quality. I couLd wait a 
Little while longer to save up a little more 
cash if need be. 


" We would recommend looking at 
ultra zoom models but since the prices 
of DSLRs are dropping, look at the 
Nikon D3000 as it's a much more 
affordable camera and is ideal for 
people learning how to use DSLRs. It 
comes with a 18-55mm lens which is 
comparable to a 3x optical zoom on a 
point and shoot camera. The price of the 
camera should be around ^23,000 
- ^24,000. 

[£ Best tablet for media? 

I want to buy an Android based tablet. 
It should have Wi-Fi connectivity, 
720p video playback (if 1080p is avail- 
able then I would prefer that), full 
Flash support, large screen at least 
7-inch (10.1-inch is recommended). The 
tablet should have the latest version of 
Android running on it. 

Basically, I just want to watch high 
definition movies and have a rich web 
experience. I am not limited by budget. 
Please suggest accordingly. 

Abhishek Kumar 

" The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the ideal 
tablet for your needs. Another option is 
the SMC EZ Style pad which is great for 
media playback. It is cheaper than the 
Galaxy Tab, but it has a resistive 
touchscreen. So you might want to wait 
till SMC comes out with a capacitive 
touch pad version. Yet another option is 
OlivePad VTIOO. It's not particularly 
great. Since you say budget is not an 
issue, then you should go for the Apple 
iPad. You'll have to get it shipped from 
the US. 

Digit I December 2010 I 129 



Recording calls on Gmail 

GoogLe has added a nifty record button to the Google Voice 
application within Gmail which Lets you record inbound calls 

Powered by 

T is better her 



The latest peripheral prices updated every month. 




Market Price (?) 


Number of cores 

Clock speed 


Athlon II X2 245 




2.90 GHz 


Athlon II X3 440 




3.00 GHz 


Phenom II X2 550 Black Edition 




3.10 GHz 


Athlon II X4 630 




2.80 GHz 


Phenom II X4 925 




2.80 GHz 


Phenom II X6 1055T 




2.80 GHz 


Phenom II X6 1075T 




3.00 GHz 


Core i3-530 


LGA 1156 


2.93 GHz 


Core i3-540 


LGA 1156 


3.06 GHz 


Core i5-650 


LGA 1156 


3.20 GHz 


Core i5-661 


LGA 1156 


3.33 GHz 


Core i5-760 


LGA 1156 


2.80 GHz 


Core \1 920 


LGA 1156 


2.66 GHz 


Core i7-930 


LGA 1366 


2.80 GHz 


Core i7-960 


LGA 1366 


3.20 GHz 


Core J7-980X 


LGA 1366 


3.33 GHz 

Motherboards - AMD 

Brand Model Market Price (?) 




ASUS M2N68-AM Plus 2,530 


NVIDIA Geforce 7025/nForce 


ASUS M4A785TD-V Evo 6,650 


AMD785G + AMDSB710 


ASUS M4A78T-E 6,930 


AMD790GX + SB750 


ASUS M4A79 Deluxe 12,550 


AMD790FX + SB750 


Biostar TA785GE 3,940 


AMD785G + AMDSB710 


Biostar TA880GB+ 6,390 


AMD880G + AMDSB710 


Biostar A880G+ 5,870 


AMD880G + AMDSB710 


Biostar TA880G HD 7,830 


AMD880G + AMDSB850 


Gigabyte GA-M68M-S2P 2,400 


NVIDIA GeForce 7025 + 
nForce 630a 


Gigabyte GA-MA785GMT-US2H 5,260 


AMD785G + AMDSB710 


Gigabyte GA-880GM-USB3 5,570 


AMD880G + AMDSB710 


MSI K9N6PGM2-V 2,270 


NVIDIA GeForce 6100 


MSI 785GM-E51 4,500 


AMD785G + SB710 


MSI 785G-E53 5,260 


AMD785G + AMDSB710 


MSI 890FXA-GD70 10,150 AM3 AMD RD890 + AMD SB850 2/2/6/14 


Motherboards - Intel 



Market Price (^) 





P5G41-M LE 


LGA 775 

Intel G41 + ICH7 





LGA 775 

Intel G45 + ICH10 



Rampage II Exteme 


LGA 1366 

Intel X58 + Intel ICH10R 



TPower 155 


LGA 1156 

Intel P55 





LGA 775 

Intel G41 + Intel ICH7 





LGA 1156 

Intel H55 Express 





LGA 1156 

Intel H55 Express 





LGA 1366 

Intel X58 + Intel ICH10R 





LGA 1366 

Intel X58 + Intel ICH10R 





LGA 775 

Intel G31 + ICH7 





LGA 775 

Intel G41 + ICH7 





LGA 1156 

Intel P55 





LGA 1156 

Intel P55 



Digit I December 2010 I 



Gifting Kindle books 

Amazon has announced that you can gift any of the 7,25,000 titles 
on the website, as gift to anyone with an email ID which can be 
read on Kindle or Kindle apps on smartphones 

Powered by 


Price watch 


IT is better here 
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I 






GTX 460 

GTX 470 





GTX 480 






9500 GT 


9500 GT 

GTS 250 


GTS 250 




8400 GS 

GTX 480 

GTX 470 

GTX 460 

AMD Cards 











HD 5570 
HD 5850 
HD 5870 
HD 5870 
HD 5450 
HD 5450 
HD 4670 
HD 5770 
HD 4350 
HD 5450 
HD 4650 
HD 5970 
HD 5830 
HD 5570 
HD 5670 
HD 5750 

Market Price Direct X 


































1GB/ 128 bit 
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1GB/ 64 bit 


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1GB/ 128 bit 



Digit I December 2010 I 131 

Street smart 


Holiday helper 

Get started thinking about your holidays with a 
Little help from Google: 

Flexible display 

Samsung has demonstrated a flexible Super 
AMOLED display that we can expect in mid-2011 

To deal with after effects 

Protect your investment from the time you walk into the store till it sees the bright 
white light coming its way... 

Why is it that companies 
across the world are 
turning to India? What 
is so extraordinary about 
the Indian market that the biggest retail 
chains of the world are joining hands with 
their Indian counterparts to establish 
themselves here? It is nothing but effect 
of ever increasing purchasing power of 
Indian consumers which has made India 
a major investment destination. Everyone 
wants to sell their product in India. Well, 
this is something we can be proud of and 
be happy about too. There are advantages 
to being the most preferred investment 
hub of the world from an economic point 
of view and as a consumer we get more 
choices, the latest technology, competitive 
prices and easy access to world class 
products and consumer durables. But 
despite all these things, there is one 
thing where the consumers are having 
tough time in protecting their consumer 
rights. Still despite having so much 
of awareness about consumer 
issues, big companies are taking 
advantage of the legal system and 
the comparatively unaware Indian 
consumers. The Indian consumer 
has become more demanding 
when it comes to purchasing 
power but still, a lot is to be done when 
considering enforcement of consumer 
rights. The majority of consumers are still 
unaware of their rights. The consumer 
courts in the Indian system do not offer 
a speedy and effective compensation 
and redressal system to the consumer. 

Ms. Saumya, a working professional 
purchased a washing machine and 
fridge from a well known brand this 
summer. She specifically told the seller 
that she lives in a joint family and 
needs a heavy duty machine to handle 
the load accordingly. But with in two 
months of purchase the product started 

showing problems. The main pulley of 
the washing machine had broken. That 
was the start of a depressing phase of 
dealing with customer care executives. 
The contact number provided by the 
dealer was not in service anymore and 
to make matters worse the seller told her 
that it's no more their responsibility as 
the warranty had expired. After getting 
the service centre's number and having 
listened to long minutes of hold music 
she got through to an untrained executive 
to whom she had to explain problem. 
Somehow she managed to register the 
complaint and it was promised to her that 
some representative will visit her with 
in one working day but that ultimately 
materialised after two days. To make 
matters worse, the representative told her 
that the company doesn't cover breakage 
even without looking at the machine. 
When she explained to them that the 
machine broke spontaneously due to 

This content is brought to you by 

Fconsumer mate" 


We can help! 

If you're facing a problem with 
your purchase, write to us at 

increased pressure and the manufacturing 
fault he agreed to send a technical 
representative to her. The cycle of calling 
the service centre and waiting started 
again. This situation not only reflects the 
story of Saumya but of many of us who go 
through such humiliation while availing 
post sale services. Once the product is 
sold, the attitude of the seller and company 
undergoes a sea of change. In such 
situations what precautions and steps 
must we take to safeguard our interests? 

The first thing we need to ensure is 
that once the product starts having a 
problem then everything done or said in 

relation thereof should be in black and 
white. Even while making a complaint 
to the help line number, one written 
complaint should be sent to the customer 
care preferably to their email. This can 
serve as a good record and evidence to 
show the history of the problem with the 
product at a later stage if the matter goes 
to consumer court. Having anything on 
paper makes it hard for anyone to deny 
that particular fact. In case of a telephonic 
conversation, though it's not possible to 
have a written record,one must keep a 
record of the calls like what time and for 
what purpose they were made and what 
was the response thereto. You must write 
down the reference number for all the 
complaints made over the telephone. 
Another thing, you should always 
redress your complaint to the seller also. 
The seller can in no circumstances wash 
his hands off his responsibilities by saying 
that the warranty is by the company and 
he has nothing to do with 
P|gk it. If you will address your 
complaints to the seller or 
make him a party to the legal 
proceedings he is bound to 
take interest in your problem 
for his own benefit and will 
pursue the complaint with 
the company at a personal level too. 
There is a fair chance that the 
company will take a sellers complaint 
seriously. The seller is making profit 
from the same product for which 
you have paid the consideration. 

Expert buying advice 

Visit Consumermate.i 
for expert buying advice < 
comprehensive information on 
Laptops, Mobiles, TVs, Cameras 
and Camcorders 

rice ^ 

vice and 


Digit I December 2010 I 


NEC is 'practical' 

NEC has re-announced its 'practical' organic 
battery which is ultra thin and can be used to 
power flexible devices in the future 



LimeWire resurrected 

The beleaguered p2p file sharing system has 
been brought back to life by a "secret dev team" 

Consumer protection 

It has also been seen that the company's 
contact numbers keep changing very 
rapidly In that case, the internet can be a 
good source to update yourself and have 
latest contact information. These days, 
there are mechanisms available on the 
web site of company itself where you can 
register a complaint. Not only this, you can 
also register your product with company 
and have extra benefits. If your product 
is registered with the company they will 
have a ready record of all the things and 
can provide you with expedite services. 

When any part is required to be 
replaced or repaired then you must 
satisfy yourself regardless of whether the 
damaged part was due to normal wear 
and tear of the product, especially if the 
fault was not caused by you. If that is the 
case you are not liable to pay for it. If you 
are feel that the damaged part was due 
to mishandling then you can pay for the 
part to be replaced. You must take a slip/ 

invoice from representative for the same. 
It will help and ensure that you have been 
charged for right thing and for the right 
amount. Also ask for the warranty of the 
replaced part as there may be a chance 
that particular part may get damaged 
again. At times it happens that at the 
relevant time the receipt or invoice of the 
product is not traceable, in that situation 
you can pay at that time for the services 
availed subject to reimbursement at a 
later time. You can also have a duplicate 
invoice issued from the seller by giving 
him suitable information regarding 
the date of purchase etc. At the time of 
purchase itself you can find out with 
the company whether they provide on 
site warranty or not and if the warranty 
services are available globally. If you 
are an international traveller then 
having an international warranty is of 
immense help. For example if you are 
a software engineer and expecting that 

in the near future you will be sent for 
training abroad, then international 
warranty would be of assistance. 

And whenever company 
representatives or technical 
representatives come you must fill out a 
copy of the customer feedback form in 
which you must express your remarks. 
You must express your remarks regarding 
matters like the representative had come 
later than promised time or if you are 
not satisfied with the services extended. 

Post sale services are a major 
consumer issue which needs to be 
dealt with great heed right from the 
time of purchase. Other things become 
meaningless if the post sale services are 
not in order. One should not hesitate to 
ask for information at the time of purchase 
itself. Consumers must think about all the 
aspects carefully and patiently atpoint of 
purchase. It's not just the price of product 
which needs to be concentrated upon. H 


Mobile Phones 
Case File #1589 

Vox cellphone has stopped 

I purchased vox mobile, model no. vgs- 
507, through AVA merchandise. My mobile 
was not functioning due to some technical 
problem. Please let me how to utilise 
waranty at the earliest. 


Answer by Consumermate: 

Dear Customer, 

Warranty is your legal right which you 
can avail for a limited period. Though 
you have not made it clear at what 
time you have purchased it. We are 
presuming that your product is under 
warranty. The first thing you should 
do is write in to the service centre, 
to the company and to the dealer 
about your grievance, that your product 
is under warranty and you are facing 
such and such problems. Now onwards 
keep a record of all the communication, 
bills and other relevant documents 
which will be if use incase you want to 
take legal action. 

Keypad of my cellphone is not 

I have purchased mobile model 
no. V-140 on 14.08.2010. After a 
few days its keypad stopped working. 
On 28th August I deposited my 
instrument at CRC Mehsana but till date 
have not received it. 

Kulkarni Ajay Ratnakar 

Answer by Consumermate: 

The company in no circumstances 
can hold you waiting Like this to get 
your mobile back. It has to be returned 
back in a reasonable period of time. 
One thing we can suggest to 
you at this stage is that in the first 
instance write to them a registered 
letter containing all the details of 
your complaint. It is very important 
proof of all your correspondence 
with them. In case they do not come 
up with a solution then you may go 
ahead with a complaint in the district 
forum. We hope some sense will 
prevail over them at the stage of the 
notice itself and they will sort out the 
matter for you. 


Case File #1977 

Laptop's DVD writer not working 

Sir, I bought laptop of model no 
5920 around October 2008, but I felt 
trouble shoot before October 2009 i.e. 
before waranty expired. I registered 
a complaint about the problem and 
the problem was that laptop writer 
could not write CDs and DVDs. After 
complaining over and over again, my 
laptop has still not been repaired. 
Please see the matter seriously 
because now my warranty of my laptop 
is ending. 

Dinesh Gupta 

Answer by Consumermate: 

Dear Consumer, 

Thanks for sharing your experiences 
about the product. Well, legally speaking 
if the product is not under the warranty 
then it's entirely your responsibility. It's 
October 2010 approaching now. You can 
take a chance by writing a registered 
letter in shape of a legal demand notice 
to the company and to the dealer from 
where you purchased the product. 

Digit I December 2010 I 133 





everything you will ever need to build your own PC. whatever your budget 

Basic rig = ?20,530 

Multimedia cum gaming rig = ?29,482 

High-end Multimedia / Gaming rig = ?45,600 

High-end gaming PC = ?58,075 

Ultra high-end PC / Gaming rig = ?1,58,695 





AMD Athlon II X2 245 / ?2,750 

■ AMD Athlon II X4 635 / ?4,700 

■ Phenom X4 945 / ?6,600 

■ Intel Core i5 760 / ?9,800 
Intel Core i7 960 / ?26,500 





ASUS M2N68-AM Plus / 

■ Gigabyte MA78GM-US2H / 

■ ASUS M4A78-PRO / ?5,850 

■ Biostar Tpower P55 / ?6,500 
ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 / ?19,000 

NZXT Gamma Classic / ?2,100 

■ NZXT Gamma Classic / ?2,100 

■ Cooler Master Chassis Gladiator / ?3,825 

■ Cooler Master Chassis Selio / ?4,250 
Cooler Master Chassis Scout / ?6,200 



■ None 

■ None 

■ None 

ASUS Xonar DX / ?4,200 


2 x 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Kingston) / ?2,200 

■ 2 x 1 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Kingston) / ?2,200 

■ 2 x 2 GB DDR2 800 MHz (Transcend) / ?3,700 

■ 2 x 2 GB DDR3 1333 MHz (Kingston) / ?3,1S0 

3 x 2 GB Kingston HyperX Tl 2,000 MHz / 


VIP 350 Watts / ?850 

■ VIP 400W Gold / ?850 

■ Corsair VX450 / ?3,650 

■ Corsair VX450 / ?3,650 
Corsair HX850W / ?9,500 


I None 

I Altec Lansing VS2621 / ?1,62S 
I Altec Lansing VS2621 / ?1,62S 
Altec Lansing MX 6021E / ?7,400 


Logitech 3 button scroll / ?300 
I Logitech 3 button scroll / ?300 
I Logitech MX518 / ?1,200 
I Logitech MX518 / ?1,200 

Logitech G5 / ?3,19S 


LG H55N / ?950 

■ LG H55N / ?950 

■ LG H55N / ?950 

■ LG H55N / ?950 

LG WH10LS30 / ?11,000 



Logitech KB404 / ?275 

■ Logitech KB-104 / ?275 

■ Logitech KB-200 / U50 

■ Logitech KB-200 / ?450 
Logitech G15 / ?4,200 

= lllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll 




■ XFX GeForce GT240 / 

■ ASUS ATi Radeon HD 
5750 / ?7,2SO 

■ XFX Radeon HD 5850 / ?16,000 

ASUS GeForce GTX 470 x 2 (SLI) / ?41,400 




■ Seagate 500 GB 7200.11 / ?1,725 

■ Seagate 500 GB 7200.11 / ?1,725 

■ Seagate 1 TB 7200.12 / ?2,750 

■ Seagate 1 TB 7200.12 / ?2,750 
WD Black Edition 1 TB x2 / ?8,800 

iBall Design Tablet PF1209 / ?8,100 

Wacom Intuos4 Medium (PTK-640) / ?21,280 



■ Razer Goliathus Speed (Oversized) / 

■ Everglide Titan / ?1,450 

■ Steel Series QCK Heavy / ?2,000 


■ None 

■ Sennheiser HD 201 / ?1,250 

■ Sennheiser HD 280 Pro / ?5,280 


MS Xbox 360 Controller / ?1,2S0 
Logitech Momo / ?5,400 
Logitech G27 / ?15,000 


Canon PIXMA iP1980 / ?1,750 

■ Canon PIXMA iP3680 / ?5,050 

■ Epson B-500DN / ?21,000 


Numeric 600 VA / ?1,640 
Numeric 1 KVA / ?4,000 


Digit I December 2010 I 


Jolibook joy 

The Linux based netbook operating system has Luanched its 
first ever branded netbook in the UK 


Quotable quotes 

Linus TorvaLs, creator of the Linux kernel once said, "Do you pine for 
the days when men were men and wrote their own device drivers?" 



your own kernel 

Kshitij Sobti 

This article will NOT tell you 
how exactly to configure your 
system for best performance, 
lowest memory or smallest size. 
Instead we will tell you enough to get 
started and get exploring the Linux kernel. 

A salute to the Kernel 

Unless you are a hardcore Linux user, 
you might be a little overwhelmed by the 
subject of this article, but let us assure you, 
it's much easier than it sounds while being 
much more complicated than it looks! 

For starters, let us give you an idea 
of what the kernel really is. In common 
usage, the "kernel" of something is its very 
essence, it is the idea at the very core. Quite 
appropriately, the Kernel of an operating 
system is its very core, the piece of code 
that interfaces between the computer's 
hardware and the applications running 
on it. 

There are two basic approaches over 
the architecture of the kernel, on one side, 
there exists the "Monolithic Kernel", and 
on the other "Microkernel". 

Monolithic kernels contain the entire 
OS within the kernel. This means all 
your driver and file-system code runs 
with highest privileges in the kernel's 

In a microkernel-based OS, only the 
bare minimum code needed to run the 
system is part of the kernel, and the rest 
runs with lower privileges. This allows 
even system-level components such as 
drivers to be treated as applications, i.e. if it 
crashes it can simply be restarted, instead 
of requiring a system reboot. 

It is possible to have a kernel which 
exhibits properties in between these two. 
The Windows NT kernel for example, 
which is used in Windows 2000 / XP / 
2003 / Vista / 2008 / 7, is a hybrid kernel. 

The Linux kernel itself is Monolithic, 

however it is highly modular and supports 
loading such modules at runtime. 

Different Kernel architectures 
Monolithic kernel: 

biied Operating Syitem 

not all hardware that you would like 
your system to support needs to be built 
into the kernel, some of it can be built as 
external modules which can be loaded 
and unloaded by the kernel at run-time to 

-Hybrid tanri" 
ii.r.i-d operating System 

In a monolithic kernel, the kernel neatly 
separates the hardware devices and the 
applications which run on top of it. The 
drivers are "part" of the kernel as they 
reside in the same memory area. 


In a microkernel design the kernel man- 
ages a bare minimum of the system's 
hardware leaving the rest to device drivers 
which run in the user space. 

The Linux Kernel 

Technically, Linux IS the kernel, and 
"Linux" in itself is not a very usable OS. 
The many Linux distributions out there 
are actually software running on the 
Linux kernel. 

Being a monolithic kernel, Linux is 
huge. The Linux kernel is a complicated 
piece of coding which —as of October 
2010— is over 13.5 million lines of code, 
spans over tens of thousands of files and 
supports dozens of platforms. 

While the Linux kernel might not be 
a microkernel it is still quite modular. 
The Linux kernel can be —and has 
been— configured to run on an embedded 
device with lesser than an MB of ROM 
and RAM! The Linux kernel source code 
includes many switches that can be used 
to configure exactly what all features are 
built into the kernel, and how they are 
to be linked to the kernel. Additionally, 

add support for certain features. 

Even so, compiling this monster is a 
huge and complex task, but thankfully 
most of it is automated, and all you have to 
do is type a few commands, in fact config- 
uring how the kernel should build can be 
done using a GUI. 

Before we dig into that, we need to 
understand why there is any advantage in 
building your own kernel. 

Why compile your own kernel 

As we have said, compiling your own 
kernel is a huge task, which might be easy 
but is definitely not simple. So why do it 
in the first place? Why not just continue 
using the ready-made one which came 
with your distribution. 

Nearly all Linux distributions out 
there include software, and a kernel that 
is compiled to run on the widest variety 
of hardware available. Even as of now, the 
32-bit versions of most Linux distribu- 
tions are capable of running an a Pentium 
or Pentium II! While you stand to gain 
by compiling any application for your 
hardware, you gain more from compiling 
system components such as KDE and 
Gnome and the kernel rather than a text 
editor like "gedit". 

A lot of the hardware that is supported 
by your distribution's Kernel will never be 
of use to you, while you might be running 

Digit I December 2010 I 135 


Tech @ Work 



The operating system which Linux set out to emulate, 
uses a microkernel architecture. The kernel of MINIX is 
only around 4000 lines, compared to Linux's 13.5 million 

From source 

Sorcerer, SourceMage, Lunar Linux, and Gentoo are distros 
based around compiling all your applications from source 
code so they can be optimized for your hardware 

hardware that is not fully supported. Such 
hardware may be supported in a newer 
version or through patches that can enable 
support for it. 

The kernel is the most central part 
of the OS, and one which you cannot do 
without, but the only way to make your 
kernel run faster or use less memory is to 
re-compile it exactly the way you want. 

Hardware support is a great place for 
optimising the kernel. When configuring 
how your kernel is built, you will be able 
to control which drivers are loaded as 
modules, and which are compiled into the 
kernel. If you have a hardware device that 
you do not use regularly, it is best to have it 
as a module. 

For example, if your computer only has 
Linux installed, you may not need support 
for NTFS, however you can keep it around 
as a module in case someone brings over a 
portable drive formatted in NTFS. 

Next we go to the actual steps of com- 
piling your own Linux kernel. 

Compiling your own kernel 

Before you begin, we need to remind 
you. Compiling the kernel is a long, 
CPU-intensive process, that requires 
large amounts of disk space. 

Now many Linux distributions have 
their own version of the kernel, with their 
own customisations, and often the kernel 
build procedure can change because of 

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et the default setting of memory_corruption_checl 

The ncurses-based configuration tool for the kernel 

this. So, instead of using your own distri- 
bution's kernel source code we will ask you 
to download the latest untouched "vanilla" 
kernel source code from the http://www. web site, and build that instead. 
Before we go ahead, download the latest 
kernel sources and place them in the "/usr/ 
sre" directory. 

cd /usr/src 
sudo tar xvf /path/to/download/ 
sources /linux-2 .6.36 . tar .bz2 

At the time of writing this article, the 
latest kernel version was 2.6.36, hence 
we will use "/usr/src/linux-2.6.36/" as 
the directory containing the sources. 
Replace this with the directory where you 
extracted your sources. 

STEP 1: Getting the build 
requirements ready 

Building the Linux kernel requires quite 
a few packages to be installed. The usual 
build tools such as GCC and make are 
required, but the kernel has a few more 
dependencies for successfully compiling. 
A list of the tools you need will be listed 
in the "Documentation/Changes" file 
includes with the kernel sources. 

Whichever distribution you use will 
probably include build tools for the kernel 
available as a package / meta-package / 
pattern etc. Simply install that and you 
should be good to go. Some features of 
the build process however, might have 
^^^^^^ additional dependencies. For 
^^^^^^ example, if you plan to use the 
I graphical configuration tools, 
you need to have GTK or QT 
libraries installed. If you try to 
use these commands without 
the requisite packages installed 
they will output exactly what 
you need to install. 

To keep everything neat and 
clean, we will use a separate 
directory for our compilation 
output. In our case we have cre- 
ated a directory called "linux" 
under our home folder, but you 
could place this anywhere. 

It is a good idea to copy out 
the current kernel's configura- 
tion to the one you are building 
to serve as a starting point, so 
you don't need to configure 

everything. To do this, enter the directory 
where you want to build your kernel (in 
our case "-/linux" or "/home/username/ 
linux"), and type the following: 

zcat /proc/config.gz > .config 
Most distribution kernels give access 
to the configuration via "/proc/config.gz", 
with this command we are extracting that 
information into a file called ".config" in 
the build directory. In case your distribu- 
tion does not have "/proc/config.gz", you 
could look in "/boot" for the config file, 
which will likely be named "config-" fol- 
lowed by your kernel version. Copy this 
file to the build directory as ".config". If 
neither of these exist, you should check 
with your distribution's documentation for 
more information about how to locate this 
file, or simply start form scratch. 

STEP 2: Configuring the kernel 

This section alone can have a few thou- 
sand pages dedicated to it! We will 
instead give you just a singular piece 
of advice: If you don't understand 
what a setting does, don't touch it. 

There are many ways to configure the 
kernel. The first is "wizard" -like method 
"make config" this will walk you through 
each one of the thousands of kernel con- 
figuration parameters one-by-one, we do 
not recommend you use this option. The 
second similar option is "make oldconfig", 
which you can use if you already copied 
the config of your running kernel in the 
last step. This will only ask you to con- 
figure settings which are not configured in 
the current ".config". 

You will most likely be using one of 
the following three "make menuconfig", 
"make xconfig", or "make gconfig". The 
"make menuconfig" option will show you 
a ncurses-based console UI which will let 
you configure the kernel using checkboxes, 
radio-buttons, etc. This is a much more 
convenient way of configuring your kernel 
than the methods listed before, however 
even more convenient and easy to use 
options exist in "make xconfig" and "make 
gconfig". These options show a GUI based 
on Qt, and Gtk respectively which lets 
you easily browse all the options and read 
about them as you make your selections. 

For each setting that you would like to 
configure, read the associated help text, 


Digit I December 2010 I 



By default the Linux kernel supports upto 512 processor 
cores, you may want to tone that down a little 



Some Linux distributions call themseves GNU/ 
Linux to imply that it is a GNU software distribution 
running on a Linux kernel 


and then enable / disable it as you find 

Since we want to use a separate 
directory for our source and our build, 
we need to provide some additional 
commands over and above the ones 
we have listed above. We will add the 
following extra parameters to our make 

make -C /usr/src/linux- 
2.6.36/ 0=$PWD 

The reason for this is simple. The "-C" 
option for make tells the make command 
to change to the specified directory (here 
"/usr/src/linux-2.6.36") as before running 
the command. The 0=$PWD parameter 
sets the output directory to $PWD, which 
is an environment variable that your shell 
sets as the current directory. This is a way 
of saying run the make command in that (/ 
usr/src/linux-2.6.36/) directory but output 
the stuff here. These need to be added 
every time. 

So go ahead and run: 

make -C /usr/src/linux-2.6.36/ 
0=$PWD xconfig 


make -C /usr/src/linux-2.6.36/ 
0=$PWD gconfig 

And configure the kernel according to 
your liking. 

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The Qt-based GUI for configuring the Linux kernel. 

how fast your system is, how many cores 
your computer has and how many parallel 
tasks you enabled. This could take from a 
few minutes to over an hour. 

STEP 4: Installing your new kernel 

Till now all the commands we have 
run have been run as a normal user. 
However these final few steps need to 
be run as the super-user. So we assume 
you have switched to the super-user 
(using "su") for the last few steps. 

Now we need to install the modules for 
our kernel build: 

make -C /usr/src/linux-2.6.36/ 

STEP 3: Building the kernel 

Finally we get to building the kernel. 
This is as simple as issuing the 
make command, or in our case: 

make -C /usr/src/linux- 
2.6.36/ 0=$PWD 

To take advantage of that multi-core 
system you have, you can issue this 
command with the parameter - j N, 
where N is the number of parallel 
tasks you wish to perform. This can 
have a significant impact on the build 
time. In our case the build time on 
an Intel Core i5 2.67 GHz quad-core 
system with 8 GB RAM went from 
50 minutes for a single thread build to 13 
minutes with 8 threads. We recommend 
staying within 2x the number of cores in 
your processor. So for a quad-core system 
with 4 build in parallel: 

make -C /usr/src/linux-2.6.36/ 
0=$PWD -j4 

This step will take time, depending on 

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The Linux kernel compiling, one build at a time. 

0=$PWD modules_install 

Finally we install the kernel with: 
make -C /usr/src/linux-2.6.36/ 
0=$PWD install 

Now we may have one final task left, 
to create an initial ramdisk image "initrd" 
for your kernel. This will again depend 
on the distribution you are compiling for. 

We need to go to the "/boot" directory 
and run mkinitrd. 

Ubuntu and some other distributions 
use "mkinitramfs", in this case run go to 
the /boot directory (still as a super-user 
or using "sudo"), and run: 

update-initramf s -c -k 
vmlinuz-2 .6.36 

Finally, finally, finally you need to 
update your boot loader, this will depend 
on the distribution you are using. For 
newer versions of Ubuntu, this will 
be "update -grub2" otherwise "update- 
grub". If your distribution uses some 
other boot-loader, please check the 
specific instructions for your boot loader 
("lilo" can be updated using the "lilo" com- 

It is a good idea to keep your old kernel 
around, at least until you are sure it is 
stable and all your hardware is working. 
You may also need to build any third 
partly kernel module such NVIDIA or ATI 
drivers for your new kernel. 


Building you own Linux kernel has a 
plethora of advantages, and only some of 
them have been described in this article. 
While the information presented here is 
enough to get a build running, the rest of 
the burden is still on you. Read 
the "README" file which comes 
with the kernel sources, and 
refer to the extensive docu- 
mentation available inside the 
Documentation folder included 
with the kernel sources for any 
specific configuration options. 
Finally, refer to your distribu- 
tion's own guide to compiling 
the kernel as this may have 
additional features / options that 
the "vanilla" kernel might not. 

Depending on how well versed 
with Linux you are, reading this 
article will either appease your 
concerns about compiling your own Linux 
kernel, or further turn you off the concept. 
If you find that the kernel is harder to build 
than you thought, you probably need to 
spend some more time using Linux before 
you are ready to take this step. Otherwise 
you are probably half-way through the build 
process already. In that case: Good Luck! EI 


Digit I December 2010 I 137 

£1 Intel AppUp 

While software applica- 
tions traditionally lie 
more in the domain of 
desktop / laptop com- 
puters, app stores have become more pop- 
ular for mobile platforms. The good news 
is, app stores aren't limited to the smart- 
phone anymore. The Intel® new AppUp SM 
store has entered the mix. 

You must have come across some handy 
utility or remarkable tool and exclaimed 
"Why did I just find out about this!" or 
"Why doesn't the world know about this!" 
It happens, often the best, most useful soft- 
ware is hidden away behind layers of links 
on obscure websites, often it is difficult to 
even trust such sources. This is one of the 
difficulties for both users and developers 
that is mitigated by app stores. 

Chrome store for selling web applica- 
tions, and Mozilla drafted its concept of a 
web app store ecosystem. Intel® AppUp SM 
center is intended to be a store for Netbook 

Netbooks are another growing segment 
of personal computers that are only now 
beginning to gain attention as a target for 
application development. While netbooks 
are considered to be simply underpowered 
laptops, they do present unique challenges 
that stem from their limited screen size and 
processing power, which need to be utilized 
while ensuring as rich an experience as 

Intel® AppUp SM center is designed sim- 
ilar to the current app stores wherein the 
developer can create applications for the 
App Store that can either be free or paid. In 

What the users have to gain is a single 
interface from where they can access a 
plethora of applications neatly categorized 
and well described, with reviews and rat- 
ings in which they can participate. They 
can make all purchases from a single store 
instead of individually for each software 
making it easier to track their purchases. 
Additionally, users can be sure that the 
applications do not contain any mal- 
ware, as they have been through a review 
process, and by tapping into the power of 
community ratings and reviews they can 
have a fair idea of what they can expect 
from the application before they invest 
in it, or even download it for free. Intel® 
AppUp SM center also lets consumers cancel 
a purchase within 24 hours, hence making 
sure consumers have a chance to try the 
app before they buy it. 

The Intel® AppUp SM developer pro- 
gram however goes beyond just helping 
developers sell their applications. The pro- 
gram also has a component marketplace 
where developers can sell and buy applica- 



The concept of app stores is quite sim- 
ilar to something Linux user's will already 
be aware and thankful for, application 
repositories. Linux distributions usually 
include centralized locations from where 
all your applications can be downloaded. 
On the other hand Windows users have to 
do what is the equivalent of going from one 
factory to another to buy the product each 
one sells. Usually Linux distributions will 
include simple tools to centrally manage 
the installation and uninstallation of appli- 
cations, such as Ubuntu Software Center. 
This allows all application installs, unin- 
stalls, and updates to be managed from one 

Since Linux is open source, and all 
applications available in the repositories 
are either open source or free, they don't 
have much support for paid apps. In this 
context you can think of App Stores as 
Linux-like application repositories which 
support purchasing apps. For web appli- 
cations Google announced the Google 

the latter case the developer gets a certain 
percentage share of whatever their applica- 
tion makes — in the case of Intel® AppUp SM 
center, it is the usual 70%. 

What the developers have to gain is pro- 
motion in a well publicized store run by the 
world's largest semiconductor manufac- 
turer. If they choose they can use some of 
their 70% share to buy additional promotion 
for their applications. It is like going from a 
door-to-door salesman handing out fliers, 
putting up posters, to having your product 
available and featured in a major store. 

tion libraries / components. Often applica- 
tion libraries and components themselves 
require quite a lot of effort to develop and 
maintain. If the developer seeks some 
compensation for a library/ component 
they have developed, they can enter into 
a revenue sharing with the app developer 
who wants to use their component. So the 
amount of money your component makes 
directly corresponds to the popularity of 
the applications which use it. For obvious 
reasons, components which aren't free 
can't be used in free application — with no 
revenue there is none to share. 

The Intel® AppUp SM center will cur- 
rently support applications developed 
to run on Windows or Moblin Linux — a 
Linux distribution developed for netbook 
computers by Intel®. As part of an effort 
between Nokia and Intel®, their two Linux 
branches, Moblin and Maemo —used on 
Nokia's N900 internet tablet / phone- 
have merged to form MeeGo, and that 
platform too is supported by the SDK for 


Digit I December 2010 I 


Here's the excerpt from the interview we had with Scott Apeland, Director Developer Network 
at Intel and Narendra Bhandari, Director, Asia Pacific, Intel Software and Solutions Group. 

Q. How is Intel® establishing its out the retail piece of 

relationship with its whole developer Q. Give examples of 

community in India? kind of applications I 

What is your real say or plan in buy or Croma would 

engaging them in say three to five integrating into their 

years from now. netbooks ? 

A. Intel® has actually had strong rela- A. The popular categc 

tions with software developers for many are games, where a lo 

years. Although we are a hardware applications are comi 

company, we provide microprocessor in. Another type of co 

software and is a critical component for tent for which apps cc 

us to really help end users to take advan- in are travel resource, 

ar categories 

tions are comrm 

in. Another type of con- 

into applications. So we 

in India ana saw some 

the apps pu 
website hav 

opers nave tne secon 

software tha 
critical for a 
grams speci: 
developers, i 

do that, so it's been 

the go, maybe 

>t of the net NARENDRA BHANDARI Q - At the industr y level 

are mobile, on DIRECTOR, ASIA PACIFIC there is a lot of competi- 

be even family INTEL SOFTWARE AND tion in terms of different 

)r software vacation travellers, there SOLUTIONS GROUP 

ram, software networJ 

area 01 responsi- are some nealth-related 
re partner pro- applications such as exer- 

and academic cise programs to monitor yo 

are really busmess-onen 

city guides, education stuff and so on. 

At our Intel® developer 
forum just two months 

we nave retail partners as 
well, and not just OEMs 
such as ASUS and ACER 
putting them in devices, 

in India and Dixons in the CPflTT A DPI AND regard was Ideate Up 

UK. These are leaders in DIRECTOR DEVELOPER where we went to the 

their space, and bundle NETWORK INTEL consumers and asked 

it pre-installed and ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H them what kind of apps 

market it to their users they would like to use. 

and that's happening now. It's a kind It wasn't a formal survey or any focus 

of next step in this process. It's giving groups involved. We just told them to 

it to consumers' hands, marketing it tell us about their dream app and write 

to them and then creating that pool for about it. In a few weeks, we got over 650 

developers so they can make money and ideas from people and these were filtered 

sn t a lormal survey or 
ps involved. We iust to 

h. Users i 

•UP companies having their 

own platforms for devel- 
opers. So do you see any 

convergence of platforms happening. 

What are your views on this this? 

A. Meego, which is a Linux-based 

Q. So do you first mob 

find out the need in drive 

the market and then mair 

communicate it to the whic 

developers, or is it the some 

other way around where cons 

developers themselves a de\ 

identify the need and havii 

create apps for the one \ 

consumers? com] 

"l. I would say it's both. rewr 

problems 1 

rs are seeing today. So fron 

a. developers perspective, he/she is 

then write 

rewrite the whole code 
One of the big benefits < 

ave one operating system across 

Lese devices ana iairly easily cai 
Ify your app for a specific device 
experience and reduce cost quii 
tantially. Similarly, from an OE 

der's point of view, 

also look and ; 

re is one store, on 

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More impoi 

1 whole pro' 

) substantially 

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Digit I December 2010 I 139 

Tech @ Work 


No takers for ver 3? 

Perhaps the backward incompatibility of 
the latest version of Python is the reason 
why it's not being adopted as easily 

What's in a name? 

The name python is a reference to the infamous comedy 
group Monty Python's Flying Circus. Looks like the 
developers of the language had a funny bone 

f* Python 

a quick and dirty tutorial 

Kshitij Sobti 

Whether you have used 
it or not, Python 
is probably a lan- 
guage you all have 
heard of. The reason is simple, this 
language has friends in high places. 

Python is a favoured language at 
Google, and was one of the first languages 
supported in its Google App Engine 
platform for developing web applications. 
It is also the language in which Google 
choose to write its GoogleCL command 
line interface for Google services. Many 
organisation use Python both internally 
and in shipping products. The popular 
Civilization IV game by Firaxis for 
example, makes extensive use of Python 
for the game mechanics; Industrial Light 
and Magic too use Python, as does Yahoo. 
Blender, possibly the most popular free 
and open source software for creating 
and editing 3D content, makes sig- 
nificant use of Python. While Firefox 
itself isn't written in Python, its build 
system makes extensive use of Python. 

So why so much love for Python? 
Well, because it is fast, it is free and 
open source, and best of all it is easy to 
learn. Python is portable, and is avail- 
able for multiple platforms, Windows, 
Linux, Mac OS, and is embeddable in 
other products. For someone new to 
programming, Python is a great language 
to start with, and will likely stay with 
you even as you learn other languages. 

Python is a high level language, 
which means most operations you wish 
to perform have libraries and can be 
handled in just a few lines. You can, 
for example, have a simple web server 
up and running in under 100 lines of 
code, thanks to the HTTPServer class. 

Python is extensible, and one will find 
thousands of modules which extend 
its functionality. Python is scalable, 
considering that YouTube, is almost 

entirely Python! Most of the modules 
that come with Python are actually 
written in C / C++ so they run at native 
speeds, and your programs generally 
run faster than those of other inter- 
preted programming languages. 

Python is good at interfacing with other 
programming languages such as Java 
and C++ making it a great language for 
programming higher level features of an 
application, while keeping performance- 
critical functions in native code. This ena- 
bles Python developers to easily use C / 
C++ libraries such as Qt / GTK+ and other 

Python is also peculiar. Unlike most 
programming languages, where white- 
spaces and tabs are used simply for 
code formatting and discarded oth- 
erwise, Python uses these elements 
as part of the code structure. Python 
uses spacing instead of '{' brackets 
or text to denote blocks of code. 

In one sentence, Python is a fast, 
interpreted, Object-Oriented, Dynamic, 
free, Open Source, powerful, extensible, 
modular, high-level, portable program- 
ming language that is easy to learn, 
and which has a powerful library, good 
documentation, a large number of third 
party modules, and a sense of humour. 

Learning Python 

Whether you are simply looking for a 
language to automate simple tasks or, 
process data in bulk, or if you want to 
prototype or write an entire applica- 
tion Python is a great tool for the job. 

Since Python enforces code indenta- 
tion, and makes it part of the language, 
Python code is quite easy to understand. 
Look at the following code sample: 

a, b = 0, 1 
while a < 1000000: 
a, b = b, a+b 
print (a) 
By looking at this program it is quite 
easy to understand what it does. The 
first line simultaneously assigns the 
value O to a, and 1 to b. The second 

line tells us that the subsequent code 
needs to be repeated while the condi- 
tion following it holds true. The third 
line is clear in that it prints the value 
of the variable b. The final line, sets the 
value of a to b and the value of b to a+b. 

Some of you may be aware of the math- 
ematical significance of this code, but 
for those who aren't, this code will print 
the Fibonacci sequence. The Fibonacci 
sequence is a series of numbers where 
each number is the sum of the previous 
two numbers in the series. The first two 
numbers are conventionally both 1. 

However, let us make one 
small change in the program: 

a, b = 0, 1 
while a < 1000000: 
a, b = b, a+b 
print (a) 

Now as you can see, the indentation 
of print(a) has been decreased, putting 
it in line with the while loop instead of 
its contents. This small change stands to 
completely change what out code does. 
In this new code, instead of printing 
all Fibonacci numbers up till a certain 
point, it will print only the first number 
of the Fibonacci sequence which is 
greater than the specified limit. This is 
because, instead of being printed at each 
execution of the loop, now this number 
will only execute once, at the end. 

You may have noticed that we did 
not need to declare any of the variables 
before assigning values to them. 

Numbers in Python 

Python is very powerful at handling 
numbers. In the previous code sample for 
example, you would have to add consid- 
erably more zeros to lOOOOOO before 
you will actually notice the program 
taking time in performing the operation. 

You can do simple mathematical 
operation with ease. Operations such 
as +, -, * and / work as expected. Like 
most other languages Python also 
includes the remainder or mod function 
%. However, Python in addition sup- 
ports a '//' operation, which is an integer 
division operation. It will return the 
integer result for the operation while 
discarding the fraction. For example: 

>» 19/4 


Digit I December 2010 I 


More python humour 

We told you it's a Language with a funny 
bone. Head over to this urL for some free 


Xah Lee say: 

There is a Python, pithy mighty, Lissome, and tabby 
ALgorithms it puffs conundrums it snuffs, 
and cherished by those savvy 

Developer corner 


Normal division yields 

the expected outcome 

>» 19//4 

Integer division dis- 
cards the fraction (0.75) 
flooring the result 

>» 19//-4 

With negative numbers the rounding 
works as expected for negative 
numbers, i.e. -4.75 rounds to -5 

Another popular mathematical 
operation which is natively sup- 
ported by Python is the exponent 
operator. You can use it as follows: 

>» 2**32 


Python supports multiple 
simultaneous assignments: 

a = b = c = d=0 


a, b, c, d = 1, 2, 3, 4 

Python can very easily operate on 
complex numbers. This is very useful 
for those wanting to use Python for 
mathematical applications. You need 
not write your own class or use a 
library, complex operations are inbuilt. 
Hence they also have a much more 
natural syntax. Complex numbers 
are written as 1 + 5j or 29 - 34J. So the 
following will work out-of-the-box: 

>» (1+11J) + (9-13j) 


>» (1+11J) - (9-13j) 


>» (1+11J) * (9-13j) 


>» (1+11J) / (9-13j) 

(-0. 536+0. 448j) 

Many other complex number opera- 
tions such as extracting the real part, the 
complex part, getting the magnitude, etc 
are all supported. However let's move on. 

Strings in Python 

Strings in Python cannot be changed 
once assigned, unlike many other lan- 
guages. So once you set a variable to a 
string value, you cannot manipulate the 
original string. As usual, you can express 
strings by enclosing them in double or 

single quotes. You can use quotes inside 
strings by using escaping the quotes (as 
in 'here\'s how to do it') or by using an 
alternate quote style (as in "here's how 
to do it"). If you have a multi-line string, 
you can use triple-quotes ("' or """) as: 

\ r r 

is some 
multi-line text 

\ r r 

Or you can use a raw string: 

somestring = r"Here 
is some 
multi-line text" 

In a raw string, escaped enti- 
ties such as '\n' for newline \"and \' 
are not converted but used as is. 

String can be added: 

text = "Some" + "Text" 

or even multiplied: 

>» text * 5 

* SomeTextSomeTextSome- 

Unlike some other languages, to 
find the length of a string in Python, 
you don't have something like string, 
length, instead you have to use the 
inbuilt length function as follows: 

len (string) 

This function (len) will also work 
on other objects such as arrays 
and hashes that have lengths. 

Python has some very powerful 
ways of working with strings. Python 
includes a syntax for accessing the ele- 
ments of a list or string using the usual 
box [], however in Python this syntax 
is greatly empowered. In Python, the 
square brackets take three parameters 
[start:end:step]. So somestring[a:b:c] is 
equivalent to saying "Return a string 
composed of the characters of string 
'somestring' where every cth starting 
from index a and going on till index b is 
chosen." Some or all of these parameters 
can be omitted. If you omit a starting 
index, then it will be taken as O, if you 

skip the end index, it will be taken as 
the length of the string, if you omit the 
step, it will be taken as 1. All three of 
these can be negative as well! In case of 
negative indices, the counting will start 
at the end of the string, as will become 
evident from the examples that follow. 
Finally, you can have a negative step as 
well, in which case characters will be read 
in reverse, making reversing s string in 
Python as simple as somestring[::-l]. 


This is a s 1 



'his is a sentenc 1 



Ti sasnec 1 



'ecnetnes a si sihT 1 

Let us say we have: 

foo = "This is a sentence" 


Lists in Python: 

Lists are equivalent to arrays in many 
other languages. However in Python a 
list can have items of different types. 

a_list = [ ^reticulatus' , 
^molurus' , 2, 3.1] 

Lists support the same kind of 
operations with square brackets as we 
have explored with strings above, with 
the same [start: stop: step] syntax. 

To add elements to an existing list, 
you can use list.append(newitem), 
or list.insert(newitem,index). You 
can also extend a list with another 
list using list.extend(anotherlist). 
Removing items is accomplished with 
list.popO, which removes the last item, 
or list.pop(index), which removes 
the item at the index position. 

To search in a list, you can use 
list.index(value), or if you don't 
need to know the index, you can 
simply do the following: 


A LittLe girl goes into a pet store and asks for a wabbit. The shop keeper Looks down at her, smiles 
and says: 

"Would you Like a LoveLy fluffy LittLe white rabbit, or a cutesy wootesLy LittLe brown rabbit?" 

"ActuaLLy", says the LittLe girL, "I don't think my python wouLd notice." 

-Nick Leaton, Wed, 04 Dec 1996 

Digit I December 2010 I 141 


Tech @ Work 


History Lesson 

Python came on to the scene in the Late 80s and 
implementation began sometime in the Last year of the decade 

No foo bar 

Instead common metasyntactic variables in Python are 
spam, ham, and eggs 

>» 3.1 in a_list 


>» 2.7 in a_list 


>» a_list .index ( ^molurus' ) 


Tuples in Python 

Python also includes a very useful 
way of handling data called a tuple. 
A tuple is simply a comma sepa- 
rated sequence of data. A variable 
can be made a tuple as simply as: 

a = 1, 2, 3, "four" 

Quite similarly, you can get back 
these values in individual variables as: 

x, y, z, w = a 

Using tuple Python can accomplish 
stuff that is usually not found in other 
languages, such as the aforementioned 
multiple variable assignments in a single 
line, or returning multiple values from 
a function using the return statement. 

Flow control: 

In Python flow control is accomplished 
using the if, for and while state- 
ments. How they are used will become 
clear over the following examples: 

The if statement: 

if inp == "yes": 

print ("You entered ^Yes' as 
your response.") 
else inp == "no": 

print ("You entered ^No' as 
your response.") 
else : 

print ("Invalid response.") 

The for statement: 

The 'for' statement in Python differs 
from that of many other languages. 
Where you'd have something like: 


In Python you'll have: 

for i in range (0, 11, 3) 

The range function can be 
used as range(start, end, step) 
to get the same outcome. 

In Python the for state- 
ment can very easily be used to 
iterate over lists as follows: 

for item in a_list: 
print (item) 

The while function: 

The while function has already been used 
by us before. It has a simple syntax: 

while condition_is_true: 
stuff () 

Defining functions in Python: 

Python has a simple, consistent 
and easy to understand syntax for 
defining functions. The following 
is our previously used Fibonacci 
sequence code as a function: 

def fibo (n) : 
a, b = 0, 1 
while b < n: 

a, b = b, a+b 
return a 

Unlike many other languages, func- 
tions in Python con not only receive mul- 
tiple arguments, but they can return mul- 
tiple results as well! So if in our example 
above, we - for some strange reason 
- wanted to return both a and b, we could 
do that by simply returning them as: 

return a, b 

This utilizes a concept of Python 
called tuples, which we have mentioned 
before. The result could be retrieved as: 

c = fibo (10) 

d, e = fibo(100) 

Where c will then be assigned the 
value of the tuple (8,13) , and c and d 
will respectively be assigned values 
of 89 and 144 respectively. An effec- 
tive example would be a function 
returning coordinates (x, y) or (x, y, z). 

Moving forward with Python 

What we have covered here is just the 
bare minimum of Python, you have 
a great journey ahead, exploring this 
marvellous language and its libraries. 
However to give you a taste of what you 
can do in just a few minutes, here we will 
write a simple Python program to input a 
CSV file and output it as an HTML table: 
import csv 

def csv_to_html (csv_data) : 
table = "<table>" 
for row in csv_data: 
table += "<tr>" 
for column in row: 
table += 

"<td>" + column + "</td>" 
table += "</tr>" 
table += "</table>" 
return table 
reader = csv. reader (open ("C: / 
data. csv") ) 

html_output = "<htmlxhead>" 
html_output += "<title>csv 

html_output += "</headxbody>" 
html_output += csv_ 
to_html (reader) 

html_output += "</body></html>" 
print (html_output) 

While this uses a lot of Python features 
which we haven't studied, you will notice 
that the code is still easy to understand. 
We have used import to import CSV 
functionality of the Python standard 
library. We have used the open function 
which can be used to open files. Our 
csv_to_html function reads each item of 
the CSV file and constructs a table from 
the data, which it returns as a string. 
Around that we will pad the standard 
minimum HTML code and print it. 

Right now in this simple example we 
have hardcoded the file to open, and we 
are printing the output to screen instead 
of saving it to a file. With just a little more 
code, you can extend this program to 
open any file and output to any file by 
providing command-line parameters. 

Currently you can test this file 
by running it as follows: 

python csv2html . 
py > htmlfile.html 

Then open htmlfile.html; of course you 
will need to have a CSV file at 'C:\data. 
csv' and it will need to be formatted in a 
standards-compliant way (saving from 
Excel might not work, use Google Docs). 


Python is a great language to begin with, 
and requires little effort to get started. 
The wide abundance of libraries avail- 
able for Python, from networking 
and GUI, to mathematics and data 
processing, make it simply to make 
application with a lot of functionality. 

Learning Python won't go to waste, as it 
will always find a place in your workflow no 
matter which language you move on to. EJ 


Digit I December 2010 I 



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Civilization V 

SKOAR Review - True to its roots the 
fifth installment of Civilization 

Friggin Fanboys! 

Why do we get so predisposed to liking a particular 
product, software, operating system or even an ide- 
ology so much that we end up becoming unpaid advo- 
cates easily willing to slit each others throats? 

Siddharth Parwatay 


As you would expect, we keep 
having a lot of heated debates 
in the Digit office on a daily 
basis. We're always at each 
other's throats about things ranging 
from evergreen debates such as ATI 
vs. NVIDIA, AMD vs. Intel, Windows 
vs. Mac, or even arguments on current 
issues like whether the Tumblr hipsters 
deserve to die at the hands of 4chan's 
anonymous legions. Yes, that last bit was 
about the ongoing war between the anar- 
chist annonymous message board users 
from 4chan and their denial-of-service 
attack on Tumblr, the blogging plat- 
form populated by pseudo-intellectual, 
pseudo-net savvy idiots. The start of one 
such mini world war was when someone 
dropped a very casual statement in one 
of our edit meets; something to the effect 
of - "Winamp is so much better than 

Windows Media Player". That was all 
we needed to set aside our agenda for the 
meeting and launch off into a skirmish 
over the most OMG-awesome media 
player in the universe. Soon Foobar, 
Mediamonkey and Media Play Classic 
were also thrown into the fray. Some 
die hard Winamp fanboys who have 
been using Winamp since the time their 
playlist consisted of Ace of Base tracks, 
defended their beloved player, mainly 
citing usability. "Can you even que songs 
in Windows Media Player? And unlike 
WMP, you don't need to add everything 
to your library to be able to play stuff". 
Now hold on. Before you take a deep 
breath to launch off into a counter argu- 
ment in response to the slightly misin- 
formed statement above, rest assured, 
WMP fanboys landed on this particular 
Digit team member like a ton of bricks. 
So what exactly is it with Fanboyism? 
Why do we get so predisposed to liking 

a particular product, software, oper- 
ating system or even an ideology - razor 
sharp edges on a Mac Book anyone? In 
this feature, we'll look at some of the 
most fanatic fanboy groups that have 
existed throughout geek history and 
some newer emerging ones. But what's 
more important is a look at what forms 
biases; what are the factors that make us 
behave like mule-headed zealots. Come 
on, it's got to do with more than just 
people like Steve Jobs strutting around 
on stage in a black turtle neck right? 

Psychology of Fanboyism 

Wikipedia and Urban Dictionary 
have some interesting definitions for 
the phenomenon. The former says 
"Fanboy is a term used to describe a 
male who is highly devoted and biased 
in opinion towards a single subject or 
hobby within a given field. Fanboy-ism 
is often prevalent in a field of products, 
brands or universe of characters where 
very few competitors (or enemies in 
fiction, such as comics) exist." If you're 
a fangirl and are offended about the 
definition not covering the fairer sex, 
you should be glad. Only men are pig- 
headed (read:egoistic) enough to defend 
their trivial choices with such vigor. 

By swaggering about as fanboys 
whether on the web or in real life, 
people inadvertently become not con- 
noisseurs (or 1337) but rather unpaid 
advocates (or evangelists sic) of the 
company or product they're defending. 
So lets get down to the fundamental 
question - what causes the bias? 

Familiarity - People familiar with 
something are obviously predisposed to 
liking it and extolling its virtues. This 
is one of the prime reasons why Win- 
dows users have trouble transitioning 
to Linux (when they are forced to) and 
hence launch off into lengthy litanies 
on the subject of operating systems. 

Elitism and Esoterism - Being a part 
of a small club exclusive club is some- 
thing people have been seeking since 
time immemorial. By owning or using 
something you believe is not consumed 
by the masses you feel special somehow. 
The key word however is believe. There 
are still some people out there who 


Digit I December 2010 I 



Viva La Fifa 

SKOAR reviews the football 
game of the season FIFA 11 



Digit 101 

Bust your Smartphone confusion 


use IrfanView and think they're doing 
something extremely out of the ordinary 
and would stake their life on the application 
being the best image viewer in the world. 

Fear of not knowing better - If you 
didn't know for example that an Archos or 
Cowon PMP can outdo an iPod, you'd still 
say your iPod rocks because you don't want 
to admit that you didn't know of alterna- 
tives. The same way a Winamp fanboy 
will not admit to liking Foobar because he 
probably doesn't know the various features 
of Foobar, and it's easier to dismiss it. 

Endowment Effect - This basically 
means that once you own something 
(of follow some practice) it becomes 
a little bit more valuable. What you 
must understand is that it is more valu- 
able to only you. Everyone else in the 
world may not necessarily share your 
love for Jigglypuff from Pokemon. 

Justification of choice - It might be the 
hardcore research you've conducted. Or just 
the amount of hard cash you've shelled out, 
every person wants to justify their choice. 

Investment - An investment can be in 
terms of both time and money. Once you've 
spent some time with a particular thing 
you have an investment which makes you 
want to stick to it longer. Besides, no one 
wants to admit their car's a lemon right. 

Case Study 

Lets now come back to the case that 
sparked off this journey into the inves- 
tigation of Fanboyism. We began with 
talking about Winamp and Windows 
Media Player. Several arguments were 
thrown about, many based in fact, many 
based in perception, and many were just 
misinformation. The Winamp fanboy in 
the team didn't really know that the most 
recent version of WMP allowed nearly 
all of the features that he was throwing 
at his opponent as defence. When the 
arguments were stricken off one by one 
the last thing he had to say (like any other 
fanboy) was "WMP just sucks man". Now 
at Digit we don't take lightly to biases, 
even when so minuscule as a media 
player. So in our typical Digit determina- 
tion to unravel the truth, we ran a small 
empirical feature comparison. And 
what do you know! Both players aren't 
drastically better or worse. Now there are 

Famous fan bov wars 

PC vs Mac 

A battle nearly as age old as desktop computing. Through the ages we've witnessed smear 
campaigns from both sides. Whether its FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) tactics or through 
those awesomely funny ad campaigns, we've enjoyed every moment. But off Late haven't 
you noticed the Mac guy has become this snarky hipster whom you just want to slap. "God I 
hate that guy" is the only thing that comes to mind. 

Firefox v/s well... the world! 

Most Firefox users would cringe at the thought of insane Load times, but would quickly point 
out security, extension support, grease monkey scripts in defence of their favourite browser. 

Unreal Tournament v/s Quake III 

Faster gamepLay was what fanboys screamed in favour of Q3, and cooL weapons for UT. 
Although this debate has died out in the rest of the world, we being a Little old school 
(read:fuddyduddies) stiLL have occasional dissing matches. Sambhav was recently heard 
saying "UT is much more fun to play dude, Q3 is..." and then he proceeded to make a gesture 
that we cannot describe in print. 

Android v/s iOs 

One of the newly emerging factions across the world. The Android army Let out squeals of joy 
when the iPhone 4 antenna issue happened. Apple fanboys on the other hand at Least for now 
heavily outnumber them. iPhone users feeL it's Ok to own any phone as Long as it's an iPhone. 

Facebook v/s Twitter 

Like the above example, this one is also a relatively new war. And the flame war is catching 
on in India too. After setting their sights on the Orkutiyas (as they Like to call the remaining 
stragglers of the orkut era) the so called Twitterati now spend a considerable amount of 
time dissing people who predominantly use Facebook. Funny thing is that all of them still 
maintain a Facebook profile. 

PS3 vs. XBox 360 

The comment section for any online review for a Halo or Call of Duty invariably turns into 
the favourite flame war of the day. PS3s are usually called cheap BLu-ray players while 
Microsoft's operating system disasters are quoted to beleaguer the Xbox gang. 

Penguins v/s well again, the world 

No one really gives a $1-1 !% about you. No no we're kidding of course. There's an entire 
article dedicated to this subject elsewhere in the magazine. 

nerds on Audiophile forums who claim 
to discern audio quality differences but 
we'll keep repudiation of such claims to 
another rant. So why did this now disil- 
lusioned member of the team so fero- 
ciously defend Winamp? An interesting 
and often quoted experiment concerning 
Coke and Pepsi comes to mind. Now pay 
close attention to this next bit boys and 
girls. The Baylor college of Medicine 
gave subjects unmarked glasses of Cola. 
All through the experiment the subjects 
were hooked on to a functional mag- 
netic resonance imaging (fMRI) - that's 
brain scanner to the uninitiated - which 
showed that many of them liked Pepsi. 
Next the researchers told them that they'd 

been drinking Pepsi. Now an interesting 
phenomenon was noticed. The MRI 
scans of a fraction of subjects who were 
Coke fanboys, showed their brains trying 
desperately to mitigate the pleasure 
centers. What researchers concluded was 
that huge neural buildups in their brain 
genuinely prevented them from admit- 
ting their preference for Pepsi, or rather 
that they altered their wiring to suit a 
bias. So the next time you feel a bout of 
involuntary verbal diarrhoea rising up 
to defend your favourite 'something', 
remember your rigid neural networks, 
remember your biases, remember 
Spock's cold logic and then comment. 
Our last word - to each his own. d 

Digit I December 2010 I 145 




Know Your Meme 

Dive deep into the history of how Auto-tune elevated to the 
status of a meme. Explained by none other than Weird AL 
Yankovic - 

The history of Auto-tune 

You'd be surprised to know that Auto-tune was developed 
from technology used for seismic exploration. 

Fun with Auto-Tune 

Siddharth Parwatay 

Some of you may not be aware, 
but Auto -Tune in an integral 
part of internet culture and pop 
history What started off as an 
automated pitch-correction and audio- 
processing software created by Antares 
Audio Technologies to help out lazy 
tone deaf singers, soon became a tool for 
internet comedians and trolls. People 
started Auto-Tuning stuff all over the 
place - from news videos to campaign 
speeches to even Martin Luther King, 
thus placing Auto -Tune firmly in the 
hallowed cyber halls of internet memes! 
Auto-Tune garnered its share of con- 
troversy in the entertainment industry 
too, with some artists (the untalented 
ones) taking to it like fish to water and 
some (the more skilled ones we suppose) 
renouncing it, saying singers should 
be able to sing without artificial tuning 
aids. Anyway whatever the stories and 
back stories, we're only interested in the 
kind of fun you can have while playing 
around with Auto-Tune. In this month's 
Fast Track, we show you how to build a 
robot. Here, we'll show you how to sound 
like one! And a musical one at that. 

Setting up Auto-Tune 

Auto-Tune is a pluggin that installs itself 
with many sound editing and recording 
software. In this workshop we're going 
to be looking at using it with Audacity. 

Must watch videos for 
Auto-tune in Action 

Guy having fun with Auto-tune 

Auto-tuned news 
Auto-tune episode of RJW 
Best cry ever Auto-tuned 
Auto-tuned singing dog 

" *J 9 J m J * 

— ■H 

The first thing you need to do is make 
sure that you have Audacity version 1.3.12 
(Beta). You can download it from http:// 
find it on one of the DVDs. The way that 
Auto-Tune is going to work is through 
VST effects supported by Audacity. Go 
load/update.shtml and download the 
VTS pluggin for Auto-Tune Evo. Once 
you have the pluggin you need to unzip 
and install it into the Audacity's plug- 
gins folder (default is C : \ a ^^ 
Program Files\Audacity 
1.3 Beta (Unicode) \ 
Plug- Ins) . The latest ver- 
sion of Audacity is capable of 
detecting pluggins on its own, 
but for this you need to go into 
Edit>Preferences>Effects and 
check the box for "Rescan VST 
Effects next time Audacity is started". 
Now before you restart Audacity it's 
recommended that you restart your 
system since the pluggin needs to make 
some changes to it. Now, when you 
start Audacity your trial for Auto -Tune 
should commence and you will have 
Auto-Tune in your effects dropdown list 

How to Auto-Tune 

Now that you have everything set up 
you can get down to Auto -Tuning 
stuff. To begin, select a sound sample 
that you wish to Auto-Tune, or 
you can simply record your voice 
by clicking the red button. Make 

a selection of the part you wish to 
Auto-Tune and go to Effect>Antares 
Audio: Auto-Tune Evo VTS. This will 
bring up the Auto -Tune interface. 

Tweaking the Auto-Tune set- 

Remember, Auto-Tune's intended use 
is to correct pitch and key errors i.e. 
automagically nudging out of tune 
notes to the right track. But what we're 
using it for is to create comical effects 
in our recordings. This sound signa- 
ture which has now been unofficially 
dubbed as the Auto-Tuned sound 
can be achieved by playing around 
with some of the settings in the inter- 
face. The important settings are: 



m***- <J j jjk 


4 fr '»fl 

Auto-Tune interface 

You'LL find Auto-Tune under the Effect menu 

Humanize which should be kept at 0, 
Tracking also at i.e fully relaxed so that 
it makes changes often, and Scale. If you 
have a little knowledge of music you can 
achieve spectacular results. These are the 
settings you need to tweak to make your- 
self sound like a Musical robot, Akon, or 
T-pain (of "I'm on a Boat" fame): 

Key: C 

Scale: Major 

Retune Speed: 

Scale detune: 4 cents, 441.0 


Vibrato Settings: All 

You can also find a preset settings 
file on the DVD which you can apply by 
clicking on Load at the top. 

Once you're done playing around with 
the settings click ok and the effect will 
be applied to your sample withing a few 

So that's it on how to Auto-Tune 
recorded samples. If you have a studio 
level sound editing software, you can set 
Auto-Tune to be a part of the effects chain 
thereby getting live effects as you speak/ 
sing into the microphone, d 


Digit I December 2010 I 








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A booster dose of ... you got it: Speeeeeeeeeed! 

Bearing in mind the theme of this month's special issue, here's an added dram of some of the speediest things you 
world. So let your hair down, unwind and soak in some high speed goodness coupled with a few added extras. 

I in today's 


The Thrust 
SSC holds the 
world land 
speed record, 
set on October 
15, 1997, when 
it achieved 
a speed of 1,228 km/h and became the 
first car to officially break the sound 

Built in a Sydney backyard in the 1970's, 
Spirit of Australia is a speed boat that set 
the world water speed record (511 km/h) 
all the way back in October of 1978. 

The Lockheed 
SR-71 Black- 
bird holds 
the official air 
speed record 
(since 1976!) 
for a manned 
airbreathing jet aircraft with a speed of 
3,530 km/h. That's almost three times 
the speed of sound! 



The Bugatti Veyron Super Sport is a 1,200 
horsepower beast with an 8 litre W-16 
engine. This gas guzzling speed demon 
holds the current world record at little 
over 430 km/h. 


A l,299cc tubro-charged Suzuki Haya- 
busa powered by 650bhp is now the 
fastest street bike maxing out at 447 
km/h! That's even faster than the 
Bugatti Veyron! 

Super computer 

New Champion! 

Chinese researchers built the world's 
fastest supercomputer. The Tianhe-IA 
can perform over a whopping 2.5 thou- 
sand trillion floating point operations per 
second (2.51 PFLOPS)! 

Superman vs. The Flash 

Clash of the Titans! 

Over in the comic book realm, 
the Flash vs. Superman race 
is a much debated affair with 
supporters of both superhe- 
roes having massive flame 
wars over the forums as to 
who would win. We say just 
let them be, they have enough 
altercations to deal with as 
it is! 


Digit I December 2010 I 


FroYo on OlivePad 

Olive Telecom is working on an Android 2.2 
release for their tablet the OlivePad. About 
time, now that Android 2.3 is launching 


B&N Nook colour 

Barnes & Noble has launched a 
colour version of their famous 
Nook e-reader 





The famous gui- 
tarist from the band 
Guns N' Roses has 
decided to go solo 
and we are Loving 
it! In his Latest seLf 
titled album he 
strums in collaboration with artists such 
as Ozzie Osbourne, Fergie and Kid Rock to 
get your head banging to his tunes again. 


How we unwind 

The Social Network 

Definitely a must 
watch for everyone 
out there. Though we 
are not huge fans of 
Facebook, this movie 
really appealed to 
both the geek and the 
movie buff in us. Great 
plot and very well pre- 
sented with attention to fine detail. 

FIFA 11 

EA have been 
working hard over 
the past year and it's 

|**W^^3fB very apparent after 
we played FIFA 11 on 
the PC. Though not 
comparable to FIFA 
11 on the consoles, 

the AI fights back this time as hard as 

any human player would. 




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After a movie and a cameo in the Simpsons, Facebook CEO Mark 
Zuckerberg will now have an animated series dedicated to him 

iPhone Rules 

In a recent customer satisfaction survey, the iPhone 
beat Motorola, HTC, Samsung and Blackberry 


This special issue is really special for all, with 
prizes, discounts and vouchers like never be- 
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Dec 2010 

di9it> ? 

Digit is taking interactivity to a new level, and will be organising events every month. You gel 
to meet and interact with people that you wouldn't in the normal course of your life — industry 
experts, Team Digit, and other readers with similar interests. Stay updated and stay ahead of 
the curve by looking for this page in every month's magazine. 


;[W tVXlJ ■ l% 1 1 l*mi X ■ m w 1 1 l«l 

TIME: 1700 HRS 

This time we would make you an expert in home networking. Whether it's playing your favorite movie 
from your PC to a big screen TV or having complete control of your PC from outside your home. Get to 
know the insides of setting up a wireless router, learn how to access all your machines through one PC. 
Get to know about Encryption WPA, WEP and more.. So don't miss it for anything. 

For details on upcoming webinars and to view past webinars, visit 


Digit I December 2010 I 


Tech dud 

Failed gadget - Kin form Microsoft has silently 
reappeared on the block, we wonder why? 


Angrier Birds 

Roxio mobile, creator of immensely popular game Angry Birds issued an 
apology to its Android based fans who had trouble running the game 


Wallpaper Art 

Bilal Madre, Creative Designer and proud member of Digit community sent us some of his creative wallpapers. One of them is based on public 
interest warning against smoking issued by Madre Media, a media agency headed by Bilal. 

Desktops of the month 

We have shortlisted three swanky desktops created by our community members, these were uploaded on our Facebook page. 

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: Genre: *RTS 

Studio: Firaxis 

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• Platforms: PC 





Letirti to be kind 


Meier has a long- 
, standing and dedicated 
"following of gamers 
who know exactly what to 
expect from his games. In this 
respect, the fifth installment 
in the long enduring Civiliza- 
tion series is true to its roots. 
The fundamental game -play 
rules remains unchanged and 
those familiar with the series 
will need little introduction to 
this game. For the uninitiated, 
let's take a look at the game's 
basic game-play mechanics. 

Great powers 

The single-player mode of 
Civilization V starts with 
the player choosing a civi- 
lization from an impressive 
list of 18. Each Civilization 
is represented by a leader, 
who also doubles up at the 
player's avatar in the game. 
Also, each of these civiliza-' 
tions has unique characteris- 
tics that give them bonuses or 
access to exclusive structures 

and units. The game allows 
the player to customize their 
experience with options like 
difficulty level, number of 
opposing players, size and 
type of world map, and vic- 
tory conditions. This makes 
Civilization V one of the most 
scalable strategy games in 
terms of challenge and dif- 

After the game variables 
are selected, the system gen- 
erates a map with randomly 
dispersed resources across 
the map. Establish your civili- 
zation's capital city. From this 
point on, the main objective 
of the game is to expand the 
civilization's influence either 
through expansion, war, 
technology, culture or diplo- 
macy, and ultimately achieve 
any one of the victory objec- 

Paths to domination 

What sets Civilization V apart 
from the rest is the multi- 

tude of options available to 
achieve this. Conquest is the 
most straight forward way 
of dominating a map, but 
there are other, more inter- 
esting ways of achieving the 
final objective. The player 
can focus on technological 
advances through research 
in an endeavor to win the 
game by being the first to 
build a spaceship. Alterna- 
tively, players can achieve 
cultural victory by adopting 
five different social policies 
and then undertaking the 
'utopian project'. 

Lastly, one can also reach 
the end game by pursuing 
a diplomatic victory where 
relationship with city-states 
takes the center stage. City- 
states are other AI controlled 
player's on the board that 
have strategic importance, 
but are not in contention for 
power like other civilizations. 
Having strong diplomatic ties 
with these states becomes 

indispensible during the 
diplomatic victory end-game. 

Great value 

Completing a single play- 
through of Civilization V 
runs into tens of hours— 
now, multiply that with over 
18 different civilizations and 
various paths to victory, and 
you have countless hours of 
game -play. Beyond that the 
game supports multiplayer 
over internet and also has 
LAN support. In addition, a 
modding toolkit is available 
as a separate and free down- 

Civilization V requires a lot 
of system RAM, especially 
towards the end-game. Also 
during this phase of the game, 
when the board is completely 
occupied by various civiliza- 
tions, waiting between turns 
is relatively lengthy. These are 
the only two things that go 
against what is otherwise a 
pretty solid game. Q , 


1521 SKOAR! I December 2010 I 





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Viva La Fif a 

For a while now, the alternate versions ~ TI " 
impressed. While FIFA 10 could not improve m 
the excellent FIFA 09, iteration number nineteen, aka FIF 
11, had some ground to make up. The PC version of FIFA 11 
this year uses the same game engine as the console (PS3/ 
XBOX 360) version. First look at the game shows the imme- 
diate jump EA has made to catch up with PES 10, a game 
we migrated to simply because it made FIFA 10 look ugly. 
The players look more real than ever. It is impossible to miss 
the graphical refinement. Incredibly though, the game has 
almost zero load time for offline matches. 

The most advertised feature of FIFA lis gameplay has 
been Personality+ - a new system which imparts attributes 
to each player, making him both unique and similar to the 
flesh-and-bone version. Personality+ is no ad gimmick. Smiles 
spread wide upon seeing such Lovely imitation, as Rooney 
dropped down to midfield like his usual self. 


Virtual Pro finally makes 
n create a player of your ch 
tails. You can build his at 

i PC version, where yoi 

ibutes in offline matches, and 

then flaunt him online. The commentary of Andy Gray and 
Martin Tyler is repetitive and largely uninventive.The game 

Offline modes 

Besides the regular single player matches/tournaments, 
Be-a-pro mode offers the alternate player-locked gameplay. 
You can now be the goalkeeper too; though we found it rather 
borinq after the initial rush settled. 'Be a Pro: Seasons' allows 

30 throuqh the season 

^/er ot your choice. 

Despite al 

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not even compare with the Master League 


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Digit 101 

The Confounding '-phone' Conundrum! 

With 'smartphones' rapidly gaining popularity these days, it's getting increasingly hard to clear define lines between different kinds of 
phones. Here's your simplified guide to understanding what makes a phone 'smart' and its underlying grey area. 


On the surface 

Smartphones are seen as complex devices, with features that many consumers 
don't need or want. Feature phones are typically easier to use, cheaper and cater 
to specific needs. But all this is rapidly changing - feature phones now sport 
characteristics that had put 'smartphones' of the past in the limelight. In fact, 
smartphones these days resemble pocket computers that are probably more 
powerful than some old PCs that you may have lying at home. These days, the 
price differences aren't as significant as it used to be in the past. The most common 
reason for not upgrading to a smartphone is its perceived complexity. In reality, the 
learning curve is not as steep as commonly believed. Features such as touchscreens 
are increasingly in demand than the underlying OS itself. Since the iPhone was 
released, every major phone manufacturer is offering a touchscreen model, many 
of which are not smartphones. 


While feature-focused phones are 
developed with a specific capability, 
smartphones include a broader range of 
features without heavily focusing on a 
specific purposes such as music, email or 
social networking. 

Smartphone users are rewarded with 
a wide range of applications that can be 
added or deleted to create a customised 
user experience. Nevertheless, it will 

still take some time to become the norm, 
especially here in India, hence allowing 
for this complicated normenclature 
to confuse us a while longer. The 
convergence has begun though, with 
advanced feature phones' becoming 
synonymous with the basic smartphone, 
and with the prices becoming more and 
more competitve, it's hard to tell them 
apart... even for us! 

It's subjective! 

Think about it, Nokia's N series was the smartphone of the day, seven years ago. Then came 
in Apple's iPhone five years ago and today, we have phones such as Motorola Milestone. As 
time progresses, the definition of what we call a smartphone is bound to evolve and with 
these shifts in the smartphone market, the terminology used to classify these phones is 
becoming insufficient, and in our opinion, also inaccurate. For instance, there is a debate 
about whether the iPhone is a smartphone or glorified iPod with a built-in phone. 

A similar shift is taking place in the feature phone category as the traditionally low-end 
phones are being beefed up to appeal to consumers who want more. In a competitive market 
where both feature phones and smartphones are competing for market dominance, what is it 
that sets the smart ones from the not-so-smart? If you were to ask us, we'd say it's subjective. 

Gartner too categorises phones as basic phones, enhanced phones, entry-level 
smartphones and feature smartphones. As smartphones evolve into specialised subsets 
such as navigation/GPS (Garmin-Asus) or entertainment, consumers will not be asking 'Is 
it a smartphone?,' but rather 'Is it smart in the way that I want it to be smart?'. 

Technology will continue to progress, and the burden is now on consumers to pick and 
choose features that will make their phone a smartphone. We just can't wait for the day 
when technology advances to the point where we wear our phones like a custom built in-ear 
piece and the display sitting pretty right in front of our eyes like cyborgs! 


Smartphone: The definition of a 
smartphone is evolving. Early models 
were sold as phones with built-in PDA 
and modem functionality. But industry 
analysts say it's the smartphone's 
operating system allowing users to 
run third-party applications, that sets 
it apart. This includes all of the phones 
running Android, Bada, BlackBerry 
OS, iOS, MeeGo and Symbian (S60 and 
now A3), Windows Mobile and Win- 
dows Phone 7 operating systems. 

These third-party applications or 
apps allow users to tailor their mobile 
experiece to their liking. These apps 
are often integral to the smartphone 
experience, and most smartphone 
users end up getting at least a handful 
of third-party apps to make the device 
more useful. Email, calendar syncing, 
document editing, social networking et 
al. are essential as well. Features such 
as GPS, a large touchscreen and 3G/4G 
antennas are common in smartphones. 

Feature phone: Feature phones, on 
the other hand, are a midway point be- 
tween smartphones and basic phones. 
They usually have a limited proprietary 
operating system, and not all feature 
phones support third-party software. 
If they do, they're usually run on 
Java or BREW and are often stan- 
dalone items that don't integrate with 
other features of the phone. Access 
to features such as email are via the 
mobile browser and Push mail is often 
nonexistent. Calendar syncing is often 
a problem, as is document editing. A 
lot of feature phones also have social 
networking abilities now in the form of 
Twitter and Facebook integration. 


Herein lies the catch. Apart from the fact 
that smartphones cost an arm and a leg, 
the smartphones' biggest boon is also its 
Achilles heel. With apps come data usage, 
and with data usage comes added cost on 
your monthly mobile bill. Of course, you 
may opt out of data and choose to simply 
go with Wi-Fi, but then the whole point of 
buying a feature-packed phone is then lost, 
since you will not have your 'smart' apps 
working for you on-the-go. 


Digit I December 2010 I 



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Ltd. - 421 68489 • UMS Infotech Pvt. Ltd. - 28603261 • Vajawat Computers - 521 85442 • Gurgaon: Aryan Technologies & Telecommunication Pvt. Ltd. - 40851 26 • Indore: Pacific Systems & Service - 4090082 • Jaipur: Kanchan Computech Pvt. Ltd. - 2229477 • 
Kochi: Aldous Glare Trade & Exports - 231 2820 • International Marketing Company - 301 8068 • M S Systems - 2377222 • Positive Systems - 2376382 • Westren I T Distributors - 2358835 • Kolkata: Suntronic Systems - 221 37434 • Supreme Technologies Pvt. 
Ltd. - 221 1 9355 • Technocrat Infotech Pvt. Ltd. - 2641 4645 • Mumbai: Chip-Corn Traders Pvt. Ltd. - 56587220 • Gautam Computers - 2381 9867 • 0m Shakti Computers - 23803583 • Shiv Shakti Technology Pvt. Ltd. - 66587279 • Solutions - 23871 727 • Unitech 
Services - 2671 9978 • Nagpur: Real Computers - 2547364 • Silver System - 2634000 • New Delhi: Advantage Computers India Pvt. Ltd. - 41 61 861 1 • AVS Informatics Pvt. Ltd. - 264731 33 • Computer Empire - 2641 4645 • Patna: Sharla Computer Technology Pvt. 
Ltd. -2202881 •PuneiB M Enterprises -30217567 • Baba Infotech Pvt. Ltd. -24485268 • Poonam Electronics -25521740 • Rajkot: .. ... , ^ & 

Anyway IT Solutions- 6628704 •Secunderabad:Compage Computers Pvt. Ltd.- 66385777 «GelaTida Infotech Pvt. Ltd. -55382311* j(L f 

Shweta Computers & Peripherals- 66387451 • Vishal Peripherals -2781 4523* Surat:Ria Computers Pvt. Ltd. -2235882 ^^^ KtynxtM Q3S Reliance al HyperCITY jumbo ^landmark 

"Conditions Apply. Offer applicable on Seagate GoFlex External Drive 1 TB & Above (2.5 & 3.5 Form Factors) & Seagate GoFlex Home NAS. This offer is in select cities and on select models only. This offer is not valid in the state of TAMILNADU. The product is available without this offer also. 
Participation in the contest is voluntary and confirms your acceptance to the terms and conditions. For detailed terms and conditions, visit All images are indicative. Actual rewards may differ from pictures shown. 


RNI REGN. No.MAH ENG/2001/3791 

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*1.1 min/MB -128Kbps MP3 audio; k photos/MB - highly compressed 3 megapixel JPG photos; 11MB/min - DVD MPEG2 (720x480]